OMG! Did you guys hear that the Internet is being given away? Quick! Download all the dirtiest porn you can, because THE INTERNET IS ABOUT TO GO AWAY FOREVER! YES, GODDAMIT, THIS DOES TOO DESERVE ALL CAPS BECAUSE THE INTERNET WORLD IS COMING TO AN END. At least, that’s what we are hearing. Are you freaking out yet? FREAK OUT, DAMMIT.


Wait, we are hearing that there is a small chance of an over-reaction by everyone. Perhaps you should rein it in, Dear Reader, and calm the fuck down. No need to freak out all the time just because some crazy website told you to. Here’s the deal, straight from the Commerce Department, via Media Matters:

To support and enhance the multistakeholder model of Internet policymaking and governance, the U.S. Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today announces its intent to transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multistakeholder community.

In non-government speak, the Washington Post helpfully explains, “U.S. officials announced plans Friday to relinquish federal government control over the administration of the Internet.” Apparently, in a transition that has been in the works since 1998, there will soon be a global governing body to help keep the Internet running smoothly and full of all the Interracial Siberian Threesomes your eyeballs can handle. Let’s wonksplore. 

First off, we are not Internet experts. In fact, Yr DDM firmly believes that gnomes control the Internet, delivering email on digital unicorns that fly through the interwebs. Information Technology geeks just learn how to speak gnomish and that’s how they ‘fix’ everything. Sometimes the gnomes revolt and then we lose Twitter for five minutes and everyone freaks out and then we send in Frodo to slay a dragon or something, and WHAMMO -- porn is streaming to our eyeballs yet again and all is right with the world. That’s the level of expertise you expect from Wonket, right? Well, suck it, you get what you pay for.

Here’s a basic primer on how the Internet works, via US News & World Report:

Since 1997, the Commerce Department has controlled the root server for the domain name system, a digital directory that tells your computer where to go when you type in a Web address, including “.gov” or “.edu,” giving the U.S, potential - if hazy - ownership rights to the Internet. The U.S. also created the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, in 1998 to keep the management of networks in the hands of a private sector system of committees representing multiple stakeholder including companies, academics and governments.

Okay, this makes sense. Someone out there has to make sure that when you try to go to Happy Nice Time People (dot) com, you don’t end up at some shitty, second-rate entertainment site. However, Americans still controlled ICANN, and contracted them through the Commerce Department, since Al Gore invented the Internet with the military in the 1960s. The contract runs through 2015, at which time:

The U.S. government will work with ICANN ahead of the lapse of the current contract in 2015 to ensure management of the Internet is fully privatized, said Lawrence Strickling, assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information, in a release.

How is ICANN doing? Are they good at what they do?

Concern about ICANN’s stewardship has spiked in recent years amid a massive and controversial expansion that is adding hundreds of new domains, such as dot-book, dot-gay and dot-sucks, to the Internet’s infrastructure. More than 1,000 new domains are slated to be made available, pumping far more fee revenue into ICANN.

All we learned from that was that we could one day create a RickSantorumIs.Gay site, which makes us giggle and extremely happy.

Anyway, back to the point. It’s not like we are giving the Internet to China or Slovenia or anything. We are going ahead with a plan that is almost 20 years old to transition control of Internet domain names to a private entity controlled by a global group of experts. There must be clear consequences, because folks are freaking out.

The practical consequences of the decision were harder to immediately discern, especially with the details of the transition not yet clear.

Ok, so we don’t know exactly what will happen, but we do know that we are privatizing a federal program. This should THRILL conservatives! Those guys hate government regulations, and want to privatize everything, from the Post Office to Death Panels! Praise away, Fox News:

On the March 15 edition of America's News HQ, host Gregg Jarrett moderated a discussion about the possible implications of the U.S. relinquishing control of the internet to international bodies. Jarrett claimed that this step could be the "first ten steps to a takeover by something that could potentially harm openness and freedom," and asked why "one president" should be allowed to "make a decision to give away something that has been probably one of the greatest invention by Americans."

Oh. So maybe not so happy. Capitalism and the free market are good, but not when embraced by Kenyan socialists. Got it. What about Lunar Emperor Newt Gingrich?

But former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) tweeted: “What is the global internet community that Obama wants to turn the internet over to? This risks foreign dictatorships defining the internet.”

So, why is mom-jeans wearing Nobummer once again bowing to all the rest of the world when we should be slapping Vladdy Putin across the cheek with our giant American military-dick? Is it because the rest of the world is all like, ‘America both controls the Internet and is spying on us with gnomes trained in telecommunications and hey, that’s way uncool, yo’?

U.S. officials said their decision had nothing to do with the NSA spying revelations and the worldwide controversy they sparked, saying there had been plans since ICANN’s creation in 1998 to eventually migrate it to international control.

Guess not. Maybe this is just really part of a long-planned transition to global governance. What say you, Sen. Rockefeller (D-WV)?

In a statement, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) called the move “consistent with other efforts the U.S. and our allies are making to promote a free and open Internet, and to preserve and advance the current multi-stakeholder model of global Internet governance.”

Hmm… sure looks like this is part of a larger plan that has been in place for a while. However, conservatives might just be using this occasion to attack Obama for being weak, which happens in the short lulls when they are not calling Obama a dictatorial tyrant. Then again, are we sure that a global governance structure make the Internet more free? We have no idea. Perhaps it will suck and in a few years we will yell at Obama for making the Internet suck.

Someone should really get an IT guy to ask a gnome and get back to us.

[Media Matters / Washington Post / US News & World Report]

Follow DDM on Twitter (@Wonksplainer), where it is a miracle he even knows how to log on.

DDM
Donate

How often would you like to donate?

Select an amount (USD)

Newsletter

©2018 by Commie Girl Industries, Inc