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So, the U.N. Wants Control of the Internet. What’s the Big Deal?

 

This morning the ACLJ launched a fast-growing petition (23,000 signatures in the first six hours) protesting the Obama Administration’s decision to hand over critical technical functions of the Internet to a “multinational body.” We’re calling on the President to reverse course or – failing that – Congress to take action to keep the Internet free.

In plain English, what does this all mean? 

Here’s Gordon Crovitz, writing in the Wall Street Journal:

The Internet is often described as a miracle of self-regulation, which is almost true. The exception is that the United States government has had ultimate control from the beginning. Washington has used this oversight only to ensure that the Internet runs efficiently and openly, without political pressure from any country.

This was the happy state of affairs until last Friday, when the Obama administration made the surprise announcement it will relinquish its oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or Icann, which assigns and maintains domain names and Web addresses for the Internet. Russia, China and other authoritarian governments have already been working to redesign the Internet more to their liking, and now they will no doubt leap to fill the power vacuum caused by America’s unilateral retreat.

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