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U.S. Government Retains ICANN Oversight 87

narramissic writes "ITworld reports that the U.S. Commerce Department will retain ICANN oversight for three more years, although there will be a review in 18 months of ICANN's progress toward becoming a more stable, transparent and accountable organization. The decision comes despite international pressure advocating for the U.S. government to bow out and make ICANN a totally autonomous entity."
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U.S. Government Retains ICANN Oversight

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...welcome our old insect overlords...
  • The Commerce Department remains committed toward eventually giving ICANN full autonomy, it said.
    • An autonomous ICANN is even more dangerous than what we have today. We can easily predict that the autonomous ICANN would basically do whatever the registies want: granting them perpetual, unregulated monopolies with the ability to raise prices and otherwise screw customers at will. Internet users would have no say at all.
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        Agreed. The U.S. invented the Internet and should maintian the control over it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by doshell ( 757915 )

          *sigh* There we go again.

          You don't own the internet! Some of the core protocols of the internet were invented in America. Others weren't! E.g. the World Wide Web was invented by an english man [wikipedia.org]. Can you picture the internet without the world wide web? Should Tim Berners-Lee and the British government have control over every website in existence? Does that look right to you, in the same way you think everything that runs on IP, TCP, DNS, etc. is "owned" by the USA?

          Meanwhile, the fact that you invented som

      • We can easily predict that the autonomous ICANN would basically do whatever the registies want: granting them perpetual, unregulated monopolies with the ability to raise prices and otherwise screw customers at will. Internet users would have no say at all.


        In other words, basically the same as today.
        • Yeah, the US government has really neglected to use its authority over ICANN (except in the "OMG we can't say XXX" case), but at least in theory there is some oversight.
      • by doshell ( 757915 )

        Right, because we all know the American government has never favoured corporations in detriment of the will of the people...

        I for one don't think it would be that bad. Any organisation is subject to the kind of political/economical pressures you refer to. The fact that the ICANN is autonomous, controlled by the US government, controlled by the UN or controlled by anyone else will not change that. It just determines who is the most capable of exerting that pressure.

        In fact you could argue that an ICANN u

    • Re:One Good thing (Score:4, Insightful)

      by eln ( 21727 ) * on Friday September 29, 2006 @02:40PM (#16250143) Homepage
      I don't get how that's a good thing. How would eliminating oversight make ICANN into a more stable and accountable organization?

      ICANN is a private entity that makes decisions that affect the Internet at large with almost no public oversight as it is. They are already proposing to add a bunch more ridiculous TLDs to fund their enormous proposed budget increases. It has become clear that new TLDs are not intended to improve the Internet, but are rather ICANN's license to print money. How would things be better if they no longer had anyone to answer to for that sort of garbage?

      Sure, the US government is not great at oversight with regard to technical matters, but it's a lot better than no oversight at all. Given the hatred of the UN on this site, I'm sure no one would ever want ICANN to be brought under their influence, but some sort of international governing body would be a good thing. At this point, the UN is the closes thing we have to something like that.

      Bringing ICANN under international control and creating more opportunity for the public at large to influence their decision making would be a step in the right direction. Ending what little oversight the organization currently has with nothing to replace it is a step in the wrong direction.
      • by in2mind ( 988476 )
        but some sort of international governing body would be a good thing. At this point, the UN is the closes thing we have to something like that.

        In that case you need'nt worry.We know which country has the max influence on UN!

  • On the other hand, others believe that continued U.S. government oversight of ICANN is necessary because ICANN hasn't proven it can handle the entire task of DNS management alone and that if the U.S. government withdraws, the Internet's security and stability could be compromised.

    Duh!

  • I wonder though... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I realize I'm going against "common wisdom" here on Slashdot, but is it really so bad that the U.S. retains control of ICANN?

    I mean, what's the alternative? Putting it under control of the UN, like WIPO [wikipedia.org]?

    Would that really be better or would it just give people warm, fuzzy feelings?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by doshell ( 757915 )

      At least it wouldn't give people the feeling that the USA likes to stick their nose in all matters and have control of everything under the sun...

      We seem to agree, here on Slashdot, that the relative "anarchy" inherent to the way the internet works is a good thing, and that government control over it should be kept to a minimum. Why, then, do some people insist that the American government keep control over something as important to the internet as the ICANN? It would be the same as giving them the power

  • The decision comes despite international pressure advocating for the U.S. government to bow out and make ICANN a totally autonomous entity.

    A totally autonomous entity? You want to make ICANN it's own individual nation? The Internet should be run by a stateless corporation who is completely outside the authority of any government at all? That's straight out of a cyberpunk novel ;) Welcome to the Treehouse [wikipedia.org].

    I thought the argument was to place ICANN under the authority of the UN, which is a completely different idea then making "ICANN a totally autonomous entity".

    This is the meat of the argument, right? Should ICANN be under US authority or should it be under UN authority?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wfberg ( 24378 )

      I thought the argument was to place ICANN under the authority of the UN, which is a completely different idea then making "ICANN a totally autonomous entity".

      This is the meat of the argument, right? Should ICANN be under US authority or should it be under UN authority?


      And of course, at this point, the thread turns to UN bashing, without stopping to think that, hey, the UN actually already runs a global adressing system - or rather, the international telecommunications union does. And it plods along just fin
    • The cyberpunk authors were ahead of their time in many ways... they understood that in the era of global telecommunications, trans-national corporations, and very fast travel (anywhere in the world in less than 24 hours), that governments how we understand them would be outdated.

      The U.N. is simply a nationalist concept that is extended to the world. We have taken the model of social organization that was really a product of 19th century imperialism, and are constantly trying to re-adopt it to the modern wor
    • This is the meat of the argument, right? Should ICANN be under US authority or should it be under UN authority?

      Of the two, I'd rather see it under US control. With the exception of the .xxx domain the US hasn't done much to control how or where the internet goes, that I know of. If the UN gets control though Cuba, North Korea, and others will try to grab control of the whole thing. I'd rather see it stay pretty much open and not closed.

      Falcon
  • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Friday September 29, 2006 @02:40PM (#16250131)
    "The NY Times reports that John Derringer of 5th Ave. will retain his pocket change. The decision comes despite numerous homeless people asking him for money."
  • For all of ICANN's imperfections, the internet remains a largely free and unrestricted place.

    It would be a shame to turn over control of it to an organization (UN) even more beaurocratic, bloated and useless than the US Government, as they would likely regulate the internet into the ground.
    • It would be a shame to turn over control of it to an organization (UN) even more beaurocratic, bloated and useless than the US Government, as they would likely regulate the internet into the ground.

      And what is the US going to do to it? The country doesn't even abide by habeas corpus anymore. People can be dragged off in the middle of the night never to be seen again. It's becoming a theocracy and most Americans seem quite contented with this. And you want this nation to administer DNS for the entire globe?

      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by dfenstrate ( 202098 ) *
        There isn't a substantial amount of difference between US theocrats running DNS and Chinese autocrats running DNS

        Sure there is. One is your imagination running wild, and the other is shit the chinese prove every day. The third option, the UN, is the devil you don't know (with respect to this issue), and I think we all know that canard, eh? Considering that everyone turns a blind eye to UN troops turning refugee camps into child brothels, among other things, I'd say the whole organization is suspect.

        The US i
      • I'd probably agree with you if I could think of a way to regulate child porn, terrorism, or any other content through the manipulation of DNS records. We are all quite adept at passing around phone numbers... presumably terrorists or child pornographers could pass around IP numbers. It's not like terrorist.com brings you to a centralized terror site or kiddie.com gets you a paid child porn site. I mean, I use opendns.com dns servers - it took all of about 30 seconds to set up. Certainly criminals are capabl
  • no way!! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by stewwy ( 687854 )
    There is no way the US will EVER give up control .... especially in the present power crazed and fear driven attitude
    For gods sake think of the children/terrorists/economic situation (delete as appropriate)we can't let an organisation comprised of non-americans have any power, they might do something we don't like
    • There is no way the US will EVER give up control .... especially in the present power crazed and fear driven attitude For gods sake think of the children/terrorists/economic situation (delete as appropriate)we can't let an organisation comprised of non-americans have any power, they might do something we don't like

      That has to be the most absurd statement I have seen in a long time. The only domain blocking (read squashing of free speech rights) we see on the internet is in countries where the ruling reg

      • by stewwy ( 687854 )
        where in my comment did I mention free speech? or censorship? You seem to have missed the point entirely which was, and I repeat it an a simpler form for those who don't get it.

        Very rarely, if at all, will anyone in authority give up that power without a fight.

        I actually think the UN would do a very good and impartial job (no doubt I'll get flamed by the irrational UN haters). I no longer trust the US administration to be on the side of free speech and fairness ( and yes it is fairer and supports free spee
    • There is no way the US will EVER give up control ....

      How much control the US government has through ICANN't is quite literally overstated. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_DNS_root [wikipedia.org]

      Anyone can set up a root server, intercept the DNS, if not resolved then forward it to exist ICANN supported root. In fact, China actively does this see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4767972.stm [bbc.co.uk]

      China is doing it because ICANN is unenforceable they choose to be different and are serious. If Vixie and other

  • ICANN are announcing it as a move to much more independance and emphasising LESS US-DOC control. Spin or PR? I dunno. the press-release is here [icann.org]
  • Now I for one certainly would not appreciate any one or any bodies knocking on my door telling me that I am unfit to operate/maintain the network I set up in my house, paid for with my money and invested my time into simply because they and their followers wanted to operate/maintain it. They would promplty recieve a vulgar face to face message embeded with some choice obscenities and the slamming of a door followed by sounds of a deadbolt being engaged. How many slashdotters would just love to walk into s
  • The fact is this is a major step forward for the multi-stakeholder model of consultation that ICANN represents. It means ICANN is more autonomous. Where's the proof? Previous to this agreement there was a Memorandum of Understanding between the DOC and ICANN that was highly prescriptive. The MOU expires on 30 September 2006. The Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of Commerce has said publicly today that he wants to work to make ICANN a stable, lasting and independent institution. The m

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