Obama’s Internet Surrender: ICANN GIVEAWAYArticles . Blog
The internet isn’t broken; so why fix it? Less than six weeks. We have less than six weeks until Barack Obama in a feat of legislative fiat signs away American custodianship of the internet and places it in the hands of an international organization, possibly the UN. Obama, looking to cultivate his global messianic aurora at yet again the expense of the American people, has created a make-or-break situation that unless the Congress moves to block him the internet as we know it could very well be a thing of the past. Should the Obama administration force the handover of the internet from American protection it will be de facto handing authoritarian regimes the power they have long sought to censor the web globally including within the U.S. U.S. control over the internet’s basic functions have kept the web free for Americans and the entire world and Obama moves to end this. Firstly, what exactly is Obama handing over? Well, Obama believes that the internet being global should have many stakeholders rather than just America, the nation that invented it no matter what Al Gore has to say. He believes access to the Internet is a human right and should be administered by a global entity. The transition will reassure the global community that the U.S. is not trying to manipulate the internet for its own economic or strategic advantage according to Cameron Kerry, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and the former acting Commerce Secretary. It’s also to deflate some of the global anger of the Snowden disclosures. He wants America to surrender the root zone file of the internet or the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and numbers or ICANN, which translates numerical codes into internet addresses. For example you can type in BlackPigeonSpeaks.com and you can go there instead of typing in a hundred or thousand string of numbers Obama has set October the 1st as the date for ICANN to set itself free from U.S. oversight — oversight that has kept the internet open since the 1990s. And why is this a problem? Well, if the U.S. loses control over ICANN and should countries like China, Russia, or Iran be able to gain significant control over this new organization, their government interests would allow this organization the ability to censor the internet in the U.S. much the same way they do in their own. The Wall Street Journal in particular is adamant in its opposition to Obama’s unilateral surrender of American control and is clear that the internet isn’t Mr. Obama’s to give away. Actually in a bizarre twist of patriotic fervor the normally globalist Wall Street Journal, the Heritage Foundation, and even Bill Clinton have all taken a decidedly pro-American policy position; in fact, Clinton warns that other countries have been trying to take this authority from the U.S. for the sole purpose of cracking down on internet freedom and limiting it and having governments protect their backsides instead of empowering their people. What political capital can be gained from having an America First policy position has yet to reveal itself; however, the Clintons never do anything without political calculations that would make Machiavelli blush. The Obama administration has falsely spun the narrative that the U.S.’s role is largely clerical, but this is patently false for the very simple reason that American control over ICANN and the root zone of the internet via the Commerce Department halts Russia, China, Iran and others from interfering with the developers and engineers who operate the open Internet. At present ICANN protects the internet from government intrusion. Think of how hard it is for law enforcement to even seize sites that pirate copyright intellectual material, like the recently taken down Kickass Torrents. Instead of shielding the internet from governments the plan gives governments new powers. Authoritarian regimes will be able to gain greater influence over the ICANN board and for the first time governments would have a vote on bylaw changes, removal of board, and the budget. Obama and his apologist argue that unilaterally surrendering control over the internet is to support a multi-stakeholder model of internet governance. Like other such Newspeak gobbledygook buzzwords it conceals the very real transfer of control of the web from the U.S. to many other countries, companies, globalists and even the UN — an organization whose largest voting bloc, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, or the OIC, is not very keen on ideas like the First Amendment. This transition would end the U.S. role as guarantor of internet governance; as well, it will ironically fail to ensure American ownership and control of .mil and .gov in perpetuity, both of which have been called national assets. However, aside from the obvious peril that the Obama administration is needlessly creating by surrendering American control over the internet, besides the threats to openness and freedom of speech, the transfer of a U.S. property without congressional oversight is unconstitutional. Congress must authorize the transfers of U.S. property, which includes that of the ICANN domain system and it is worth billions of dollars. And this is the catch. Even if retro actively sometime in the future the courts rule that Mr. Obama’s unilateral surrender of ICANN violates the separation of power, by that time there will be no ability for recourse as the contract will have been voided and gone forever. It would seem in the twilight of his presidency that Obama, by willingly handing over the Internet to the adversaries of the United States, is working toward diminishing American power and prestige. Obama, having admittedly done very little of note with his presidency and as of late been hopscotching around the world attempting to build a legacy for himself. Well, he’s mostly engaged in benign actions such as being the first U.S. president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge did in 1928, or be the first U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, a city devastated by an American atomic attack. However, the ceding of ICANN is not only perilous for the United States but all countries that value freedom of speech as well as an open Internet. The U.S. has served the critical role as guarantor against censorship and threats to the internet. Thus, Obama has now created a situation where global commerce, the dissemination of ideas, and the freedom to do so is now at stake. If Obama’s unilateral actions to surrender American control over the internet do not constitute treason, I do not know what does. If Congress does not move to veto this patently un- American and unconstitutional handover of American property — as the Constitution plainly gives commerce power to the Congress — then it is equally culpable in its debasement of the Pax Americana. 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Written by Michelle Gutierrez
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