On 1st October, the U.S. Government handed over the control of internet to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
U.S Government Relinquishes Control of World Wide Web
ICANN is a multi-stakeholder body that includes countries like China and Russia, and represents companies such as Facebook and Google.
ICANN Board Chair Stephen D. Crocker said;
“This community validated the multistakeholder model of Internet governance. It has shown that a governance model defined by the inclusion of all voices, including business, academics, technical experts, civil society, governments and many others is the best way to assure that the Internet of tomorrow remains as free, open and accessible as the Internet of today.”
Before 1st October, the US Department of Commerce had the power to supervise all the decisions that were made by the ICANN for managing IANA (Internet Assigned Number Authority). This command of the US government meant taking out of any choices they were not satisfied with the given standard.Control over the World Wide Web’s phonebook by US Government was a period of almost 18 years which kept ICAAN from having a complete control over the internet’s domain name system IANA.
Now Internet gets controlled by Everyone
Day by day Internet is becoming extremely important for the governments all around the world. This recent transition is expected to have political implications as the internet’s registry system is no longer governed by the US Government. But surely freeing the control by US Government will ease out everyone.
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A Telecom Operator in Neutral Regime
In a net neutrality, the threat to infrastructure wealth creation is serious. When regulators gain new powers, they rarely cede them in response to marketplace changes without a fight. Under a neutrality regime, the telecom industry would likely retreat, take fewer risks, and divert investment toward more fruitful pursuits. It’s no coincidence that the Internet, a sanctuary of governmental restraint, has spawned such unparalleled innovation. In the relentlessly fast-moving digital age, regulatory intervention is a recipe for entrenching the status-quo.
Implications of Internet Control Handover
It could have big implications further down the line though, where it could lead to the consideration of new legislation to handle continuous issues such as intellectual property rights, including copyright.
And while some critics believe that the removal of US government’s hand will give other countries a greater opportunity to censor online content in its own and other countries, those in favor believe that handing over to a globally accountable and politically neutral governing body will remove the threat of a government takeover and actually promote free speech and online exchange.
Internet users will see no change or difference in their experience online as a result of this handed over of the Internet control.
The only difference is that the management of the internet’s ‘phone book’ will now fall to a body comprised of international representatives from foreign governments and tech companies as a global community.
Although no-one knows what the long-term effects of the hand over will be, the move isn’t expected to trigger any immediate changes for internet users but definately the change will open new platforms welcoming innovation and empowernment.