So, the Internet is no longer at the whims of the United States or something? It’s all quite ambiguous, at least to me, a man who would be content to never look at a screen again. Unfortunately, this Internet business has a huge influence on global affairs, if not so much the immediacy of our little individual lives, and this being the truth it warrants discussing. What does it mean for the Internet to be free of the United States government?
On October 1st, regulatory powers over the Internet’s Domain Naming System were given to the United Nations by the federal powers of the United States in what proponents might try to avoid calling an act of anti-hegemonic secular apologetics. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, will now exist at the behest of the global collective, at least officially. The current executive administration put forth the effort to disconnect the United States from ICANN, and several U.S. senators failed in an attempt to challenge the move in legal proceedings.
Allow me to tell you why none of these niggling details matter in the least: the Internet will never be left “uncontrolled.” Whether at the behest of the United States, or under the watchful yet inherently and incompetently destructive utopian eyes of the United Nations, the global networking infrastructure we all utilize and laud as liberating, e.g. the organizational execution of the “Arab Spring,” will forever be cloaked in a guise of freedom. Mr. Dave Lee says in the attached article that the average web user won’t notice any apparent changes in their daily online activities, but I’ll point out here that the nature of that supposedly blissful ignorance is akin to not noticing your actions being recorded in public, or your smartphone betraying you as an inanimate agent of ambiguously FISA-legal surveillance. You may think me paranoid, and I don’t deny that I am at least a little so, but in today’s world it’s a matter of preservation having a dose of skepticism. But that’s a discussion for another time. The underlying point here is that the Internet is a vehicle for governmental powers, not a decentralized forum for free expression; everything that exists on its infrastructure is allowed to by those who control it. Whether or not you agree with the United States of America, its original conception upon foundations of classical liberalism, or its standing in world affairs for the last approximate century, its relinquishing control over ICANN and the Domain Naming System presages the eventual change in power structure, not the absence of such.
As the U.S. Department of Commerce hands the regulatory baton to the multi-national cluster of genius sages at your friendly neighborhood United Nations, I believe we will simply witness a changing of the guard in figure, not character. Where one lord sells or lets decay his estate, another will surely buy or conquer it. Individual liberty is not a concept in the elite world of schemers, and the internet is their staff.
(Note: My capitalization of “Internet” is a stylistic concern, I do not believe it should otherwise be capitalized. Unofficial rationale can be seen here.)
Devon J. Kozak