Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said President Obama ought to be a bit more careful with his decision to cede control of the system that manages Internet domain names, ICAAN, because dictatorships will be more than happy to clamp down on free speech.
She was remarking on the White House decision to give someone other than the United States the authority to manage ICAAN — the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a nonprofit based in Los Angeles.
Mrs. Palin said, of the move, as reported by Breitbart: “[This] is nothing more than a gift to authoritarian regimes who seek to stifle the freedom the Internet gives to voices around the world fighting for basic human rights. No amount of Obama/liberal media spin can justify this.”
And she posted on her Facebook site: “Evidently relinquishing America’s control of the Internet via our ICAAN control of domain names was what Obama meant when he led his adoring followers in those strange, kind of creepy chants of ‘Yes We Can.’ Surrendering our control of the Internet is a colossal foreign policy error with long term negative repercussions for freedom.”
Meanwhile, Wall Street Journal technology reporter Gauthem Nagesh suggested on NPR in a recent interview that moving control of ICAAN out of America’s hands could in fact lead to a different tone when it comes to Internet freedoms.
“I think that this [move] strikes at a few key issues, the primary being the U.S. has always been the steward of the Internet. And the contract with ICAAN is the most outward example of that. If ICAAN’s relationship with the U.S. changes, there’s fear that eventually it could move to another country or it would no longer be under the auspices of American law, which it is currently, and that would change the nature of the Internet itself in some people’s view.”