Two stories regarding control of the internet took place in two separate countries, but provide an interesting insight on why the Obama administration’s decision to relinquish control of the internet to the United Nations is a bad idea.
The Department of Commerce quietly extended its relationship with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names (ICANN) until 2016. ICANN oversees domain names and legal rights associated with digital web properties. Originally the United States wanted to step away from this role and move it toward a more global governance. Many countries have chaffed over the idea of internet rights being controlled by the United States.
If the United States stepped away from ICANN, the Russians and Chinese were eager to have a say in global internet governance. China arrested 15,000 citizens on Tuesday for “web crimes”. China launched its “Cleaning the Internet” program six months ago and has investigated 7,400 cases of cyber crime over 66,000 websites.
China features a sophisticated filtering mechanism, building a digital version of the Great Wall. The country has strict regulations on streaming and social media.
For more on both of these issues:
Analysis: What exact control over the Internet is the US giving up and is it bad or not?