Will America and the World Lose Freedom on the Internet?

A new op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal this week brings up the issue once again of the Obama Administration giving up American protection of the Internet.  I have been concerned about the adverse consequences to American freedom every time I read about the idea in the past.  As you might already know, the Obama Administration has decided to give up American control of the Internet effective September 2015.

While the administration asked ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) to develop a plan to maintain the free and open nature of the Internet after American relinquishment of protection, it appears that ICANN is moving forward with an approach that will allow a considerable reduction in freedom, not just overseas, but here in America too.  What’s the impact of the current ICANN plan?

With the proposed plan, ICANN would effectively turn over control to governments, unless a 2/3 majority of countries objected to a given decision.  ICANN would police its own actions without taking real directives from important stakeholders.  Some possible results: (1) countries could censor websites in their own country that were critical of their policies; (2) countries could censor websites in other countries that were critical of the target country; (3)  American website operators might be forced to comply with a whole host of new regulations and fees; (4) bloggers critical of government policies might be shut down; etc.  ICANN with the effectively tacit support of the American government is moving toward the potential elimination of Freedom of Speech and Political Freedom over the Internet.

Before it’s too late, America should reconsider relinquishing control of the Internet.  What Freedom-Loving American could possibly want to see our Freedom of Speech curtailed on the Internet?

If you want to learn more about freedom, the moral case for freedom, how we are losing freedom, and most importantly, how to regain our lost freedom, please read my new book Renewing America and Its Heritage of Freedom: What Freedom-Loving Americans Can Do to Help. It’s available from Amazon and other book retailers.  It should be available on Kindle and other devices very soon.

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