ICANN – American Or International?

The U.S. will continue to supervise the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The organization control global domain name policy, system and root servers. The organization works under agreement with U.S. Department of Commerce.

The ICANN’s status is long debated issue as many countries say it must be transformed to International body because it administrates hindreds of non-American top level domain names domain names. One of the propositions is United Nations to take control over ICANN.

Web – Natural American Or International

The U.S. Republican Senator from Michigan Fred Upton says that allowing the ICANN “to continue to develop under the watchful eye of the U.S. Department of Commerce is not only the right thing to do, but the most prudent action, as well”. Such a view may rise many objections and it will rise a lot of criticism worldwide.

Let’s remember the recent debate over .XXX domain names, aimed to serve the adult and porn web sites. Daw blog paid attention on this issues in an article titled “No Green Light For dot-XXX Suffix“. ICANN then rejected the proposal to create a dot-XXX domain for the adult entertainment industry. The board of the organization, refused (May 10, 2006) to give a green light the proposal for the new domain by a 9-5 vote.

Many observers said then that conservative groups represented in U.S. government pushed the ICANN’s body member not approve the domain. The business on the other side have been split on .XXX domain and their potential role on the market. Some found them useful tool to bring some regulatiaons and to clean the web from adult and porn web sites under general TDL’s (Top Level Domains) such as .com, .net and .org.

Other argued that the number of the porn content pages will double or triple worldwide.

This debate however has been very much focused on the main topic – “Who has to Control the Domain name system?”. There are at least tow different views. The first one is that Internet and its roots are natural American.

The other one is that nowadays Internet have to be seen as world wide phenomenon and United States must transfer the sovereignty over the we to International body.

The worst the may happen in this debate is to see WWW as a part of an international political agenda! An article that defend the position that it has also must to be kept away from U.S. domestic political debate can be read as well (Web Becomes A Part Of Political Agenda). I think however that it is even worse for Internet to be regulated by International body. Why? Let’s take a look the way United Nations work. No one may dispute UN’s legitimacy as a world political body. When it comes to effectiveness however UN does not work good. The organization wasn’t able to produce International consensus on its own, among its members on any major international crisis since the first Gulf war in 1990 – 1991.

The ICANN is an organization that have to serve businesses and to implement its decision in favor of individuals and millions of small and larger businesses world wide. There is no political, language or national identity in this issue. The Internet regulations and the domain name policy is an entirely business issue. So it may not let countries and bureaucrats to decide how to deal with a network that has been created to ease communication among individuals, academics and businesses.

The ICANN would be transformed in International body if all the countries world wide had democratic and social standards similar to those in North America and European Union, Japan, Australia and etc. To transfer decision making process on issues which concern the life and daily operations of hundreds of millions people to a body where you can see politicians acting the way they do it in Belarus, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela or any African country controlled by unstable government is really the worst that may happen to the World Wide Web.

The web is a product of western mentality and although it would be left open and accessible for any suggestions and developments from any country, organization and to individuals world wide it is better to stay under American control. This does not mean under control be U.S. government but under control of the American society, and business interest groups.

About the Author

Dimitar A.
Dimitar is founder of the global Cloud & Infrastructure Hosting provider HostColor.com & European Cloud IaaS company RAX. He has two Decades-long experience in the web hosting industry and in building and managing Cloud computing infrastructure and IT ecosystems. Dimitar is also political scientist who has published books "The New American State" and "The New Polity". "The New American State" is one of the best current political books. It is focused on the change of the American political process. It offers a perspective on how the fourth industrial revolution, also called the Digital Revolution and Industry 4.0, marks the beginning of an era of deterritorialization.