“Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.” ―Ronald Reagan
Quashing Obama’s Internet Giveaway
President Obama’s plan to give away the Internet back-end to dictatorial control of countries like Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, and North Korea has been quashed because of a provision tucked away in the recent omnibus budget bill passed by the US Congress. Yes, hidden in amongst all the pork barrel frittering and boondoggle squandering of the public funds, there was one bona fide gem thrown into the mix.
Obama’s Original Plan for Authoritarian Control of the Internet
President Obama, on March14, 2014, announced his intention to change the Internet forever, by allowing dictatorial regimes to force compromises on filtering it from the back-end. This would have had the likely effect of silencing many voices of freedom around the globe. This action was a betrayal not only to Americans, but to freedom-lovers everywhere.
What happened was that President Obama, in a rogue act, without consulting Congress announced his scheme to turn over administration of the Internet to an international body of decision-makers. More specifically, Obama had instructed the Commerce Department to ask the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to convene international stakeholders to develop a transition plan for the future coordination of the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS). (For more information with regard to this issue, please read my article here: http://eaglerising.com/9309/great-betrayal-obamas-plan-forfeit-americas-control-internet/.)
What Will Happen Now
The budget bill, it would appear, has been set up to protect the Internet from any kind of presidential tampering, at least until September 2017. The reason we know this is that the language of the bill instructs the Commerce Department to renew the contract with ICANN, in September 2015, for the standard contract term of two years.
According to Gordon Crovitz, of the Wall Street Journal, the new law also stipulates that no federal funds are to be used to “relinquish the responsibility” of the government’s oversight of the “Internet domain name system functions, including with respect to the authoritative root zone file.” So that should take care of matters with regard to the Internet back-end for the foreseeable future.
Congressional Oversight Clarified
The new law reasserts the traditional oversight of the US Congress with regard to the Internet by stating quite clearly that the Congress must be consulted in any future plan for the US to give up its protection of the Internet. If there is any notion at all of changing the contract with ICANN, or any other contract issue under consideration with respect to Internet management, Congress must be notified at least 45 days ahead of any “successor contract” or other decisions related to the Internet.
Continues on EagleRising