Who is controlling the internet? In reality it is not controlled. Currently an organization called ICANN is responsible for assigning internet names and IP address. They are considered to be in control of the internet. ICANN is a non-profit organization that answers to the United States Department of Commerce. Foreign governments have protested for years that the internet should be controlled by an international body, not a US institution.
The internet was founded in the 1960s by a group of US engineers funded by the US Department of Defense. It was originally named ARPANET, Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. The engineers saw it as an opportunity for scientist across the country to share work over the network. The Defense Department saw many opportunities for National Security. Continuing their work engineers working for the US Department of Defense under the DARPA project founded TCP/IP. This is a communication protocol that allows all computers to connect on the net. TCP/IP was the enabling factor for the internet as we know it today. TCP/IP allows individuals without IT skills to join and communicate on the web.
As the internet began to expand outside of the academic community, the US Government set up the non-profit institution, ICANN to assign internet names and their related IP addresses.
With the internet now global, other countries are uncomfortable with the United States controlling the internet. They are pushing for an international body, representing all countries to control IP addresses. This seems to be a reasonable request, isn’t it?
The question is, “Will foreign governments attempt to apply additional controls to the internet along with the power to issue IP addresses?” Will countries such as Russia and China who control their media and communications attempt to apply restrictions to the internet? In government controlled information societies, the internet has been the sole source of reliable information to the population. The governments have not been able to control the internet and believe me they have tried. If ICANN’s control of the internet is passed on to the world, what assurances do we have that they will not try to restrict access?
Another issue is taxation of internet transmissions. You already pay for your internet service but could the organization impose a usage tax on the internet? They control the IP addresses so if you don’t pay they could shut you off. If they do tax IP addresses where would the money go to and what would it be used for? Is it fair to pay for the internet?
President Obama has signed an order that control be passes on to a global organization in Semester but it has been pushed back. Members of Congress, including Ted Cruz are currently presenting legislation to block the transition and maintain control over the internet in the United States.
The scary thing is most of us know nothing about it. Control of the internet takes a back seat on the nightly news to what outrageous thing Donald Trump said or the latest leaked email from Hilary’s personal server. It’s just not popular news. For those who have read this you at least know about it. It is up to you whether or not you really care.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I want to make sure I’m still connected to the internet so I can post this Blog,