The Internet's future is up for grabsAnd what is the Roanoke Times' recommended course of action whenever the United Nations makes demands? Yield. Acquiesce. Surrender.
Resentment over U.S. control requires diplomacy to avoid global confusion.
Deep inside the Internet, 13 computer systems keep the global network running smoothly. The United States controls them, but many nations want an international body to take over. How things go could change cyberspace for everyone.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is responsible for making sure the servers, domain names and billions of possible IP addresses perform as expected.
In theory, the executive branch of the U.S. government could disrupt the Internet in another nation through ICANN.
All of which has many nations worried that too much power is in the hands of one country. A United Nations work group recommends the United States and ICANN relinquish authority to an international body.
... the countries most vocally demanding control are the likes of China, Iran and Tunisia, hardly paragons of personal liberty to entrust with management of a system that relies on the free flow of information.We certainly don't want to provoke these countries, even though many of them are at least corrupt and inept and at worst murderous and tyrannical. We need to destroy the most innovative, most dynamic, most rapidly developing, most revolutionary system to be developed in a hundred years because the Europeans - and Cubans - want to control the free flow of ideas.
Yet, if the United States does not give some ground, several nations have threatened to create their own root servers. That would fracture the Internet, causing confusion and some degree of costly communications disruptions.
Even the European Union last week effectively called for throwing down the gauntlet and challenging the United States.
These issues will be the topic of an international summit next month. With global sentiment already mixed at best regarding several U.S. policies, American delegates should at least avoid unyielding, unilateral posturing that may provoke the rest of the world to split the Internet.