U.S. to Retain Control of the Internet, Says UN Agreement

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You’ll recall that several months ago I told you about the rumblings of discontent around the world as people realized that the U.S., in the form of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), retained full control of the master DNS zones (files which are basically the master routing tables for the entire Internet), and how the U.S. had dug in their heels and refused to give up control of the Internet.

In fact, at that time, the U.S. had issued a statement saying, in part, that “The United States Government intends to preserve the security and stability of the Internet’s Domain Name and Addressing System (DNS). Given the Internet’s importance to the world’s economy, it is essential that the underlying DNS of the Internet remain stable and secure. As such, the United States is committed to taking no action that would have the potential to adversely impact the effective and efficient operation of the DNS and will therefore maintain its historic role in authorizing changes or modifications to the authoritative root zone file.”


Last month it reached a critical level, as the UN Summit in Tunisia approached, and the U.S. girded its loins for battle. One U.S. senator even drafted a resolution about the issue, saying that “At the World Summit next month, the Internet is likely to face a grave threat. If we fail to respond appropriately, we risk the freedom and enterprise fostered by this informational marvel, and end up sacrificing access to information, privacy, and protection of intellectual property we have all depended on. This is not a risk I am prepared to take, which is why I initiated action to respond on a Senate level to this danger.”

This was all to come to a head at the UN Summit, where the delegates from many countries were to converge, and figure out What To Do About The Fact That The United States Controls The Master Zone Files.

What they did, at the eleventh hour, was leave those master zone files with ICANN, in the United States, agreeing instead to create an international body to discuss Internet issues, although that body will have no authority over ICANN or the United States.

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Said U.S. negotiator David Gross, “We did not change anything on the role of the US government with regard to the technical aspects that we were very concerned about.”

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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