Enjoy your internet freedoms while they still exist, only time will tell how long they’ll last. I don’t think bad things will happen overnight, they’ll take some time to manifest (I hope).
On Oct. 1, 2016 the United States handed over control of the internet domain name system to the world-at-large. This means that our Constitution’s First Amendment of Freedom of Speech will not be protecting the internet anymore.
Proponents of this give-a-away argue that due to how the governance body of ICANN is a global non-profit and made up of engineers, academics, businesses, non-government and government groups that it will ensure an open and free internet for all and for all time.
ICANN’s board chairman, Stephen Crocker, welcomed the end of the contract saying,
This transition was envisioned 18 years ago, yet it was the tireless work of the global Internet community, which drafted the final proposal, that made this a reality,
This community validated the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance. It has shown that a governance model defined by the inclusion of all voices, including business, academics, technical experts, civil society, governments and many others is the best way to assure that the Internet of tomorrow remains as free, open and accessible as the Internet of today.
I have to disagree with Mr. Crocker. The world of 18 years ago is not the world of today. Today, we have several governments around the world that prohibit and block information from entering or leaving their countries based only upon their agenda. This is a countries prerogative, however, now these governments will be able to join together more aggressively in favor of policing and censoring information to the whole world.
Not only that but we have first-hand evidence of large corporations such as Google, Facebook, Twitter etc. that censor and filter out information based on what they consider to be things such as hate speech, some kind of “phobia”, or just detrimental to their ideologies. Heck, we have had the Democrats in Congress try for many years to make laws against conservative media outfits and websites to hinder or shut them down because they don’t agree with their political agenda. Look at how the Democrats have tried to push through laws that would put scientists in jail for saying that global warming or climate change is a hoax (which has been proving too many times already, don’t get me started on this one.)
So, what can be done about this? Well, I don’t know. I have read internet industry experts say that once the transfer is done that there is no reverting it. We will have to stay vigilant and aware of what is taking place in the internet community and respond appropriately to it.
New and better technologies will have to be implemented that will help ensure that information doesn’t get censored and blocked from the world. Encryption will have to be enhanced, better dynamic data flow around routers that try and hinder that flow, dynamic websites that can pop up at a new location if it is blocked or taken down, social media companies will need to have pressure kept on them to not censor thought, etc.
On the bright side, it was 20 years ago that the Internet 2 came to life. This may be part of the solution down the road because it is still controlled by the philosophy of advancement, not control.
Have a look at this short video about the Internet 2.
Is this the beginning of the end of the internet as we know it? Let’s pray that it isn’t.