Is US Dominance Of The World Wide Web Ending?

The United States can take credit for the invention of the internet but it never had an internet to begin with. Nobody owns the internet because it is decentralized making it very powerful. People and governments have control over internet infrastructures and this is what this row is all about because by October 1, 2016, Icann will no longer be under the US government’s oversight.

An ordinary internet user will not notice the difference because Icann is not a new entity. Icann has been doing its job since 1998 even before people realized that there is an internet. The transition which has been in the works for two decades will remove US dominance through circumstance rather than intention. This is causing friction all over the international communities.

To explain the role of Icann in the internet, it is the only organization that can make changes in the pairing of numbers and names in the land registry of the Web where everything is kept in a large master file. Domain Name System or DNS is an internet infrastructure that takes you to the correct servers. Jon Postel was in control of DNS when there were only a handful of websites. He assigned easy-to-remember names for the bothersome numbers to accelerate the popularity of the World Wide Web. The task was taken over by IANA, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. In 1998, control over IANA was given to ICANN.

According to arguments, if ICANN will be given complete control over the internet’s naming system, the power can be used to disrupt and censor online communications. District attorneys who are representing four states argue that the large directory of domain names and associated servers is the property of the US government and cannot be given away without congressional approval. Without US control established domains that include .gov and .mil can be tampered with.

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