Who rules the Internet?

There is a fascinating battle happening internationally over who controls the Internet, or at least the governance of the domain name system and IP address allocation. These were done by Jon Postel up until his death in his IANA role.

A US based organisation called ICANN is currently is performing this role. Now ICANN has many faults – it is overly secretive, has no clear decision making, is not democratic etc. Indeed I along with many others have been critical of it.

However the alternative is gasp having oversight done by a committee of the United Nations! And that is definitely far far worse. Rather than make policy setting more transparent and democratic, it would do the opposite. Worst of all there would be real scope for such a UN agency to use control of the naming and addressing system to start censoring free speech because they could set a policy that a domain name will be removed from any website which a government deems untruthful etc.

Another article on this battle is here.

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