back to article Fight over internet handover to ICANN goes right down to the wire

The US government's plan to hand over control of critical internet functions at the end of the month is heading for an extraordinary showdown next week, as Congress debates whether to block it. The current IANA contract is due to expire on September 30, at which point the organization that has run the contract for the past 20 …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The devil you know?

    As awful as the US government is in so many areas, it does tend to follow the very strong American traditions for protecting free speech (we may be forced to see if this survives a Trump or Clinton presidency, both of whom have indicated they would like to attack the First Amendment). Even most Western European governments seem very eager to jump into politically-convenient censorship, and things get worse as you head East. While ICANN can't directly censor web sites (yet), control over the DNS infrastructure goes a long way in that direction.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The devil you know?

      So Ted Cruz and American exceptionalism to the rescue? Personally even as a Yank I'll pass. Still might be worth looking at namecoin just in case.

    2. Marcel

      Re: The devil you know?

      The US doesn't shut down sites because of speech, but it does for commercial/legal reasons. FBI/DoJ has shut down many "illegal" websites, just because the .com/.net/.org domains happens to be administered from the US and they therefore have "jurisdiction". Some examples here:

      I don't want any single government to be able to shut down sites, for whatever reason (because they will always find a "legal" reason).

      1. TheVogon

        Re: The devil you know?

        "The US doesn't shut down sites because of speech"

        The US shuts them down just for LINKING to content it doesn't like. That's most definitely a free speech issue. There have also been numerous examples of sites that are completely legal in their home / targeted territories being shut down because the US doesn't agree with them. That should not be possible for any government to do. Otherwise lets say Saudi Arabia / Pakistan / Iran take a similar approach? The porn industry will be gone overnight!

  2. Yes Me Silver badge


    Cruz and his cronies are talking guff. All that is planned is for a pointless contract with no practical impact to be allowed to expire. "What exactly will happen if ICANN doesn't get its way by September 30?" Nothing of the least practical importance will change, and -- Kieren, I'm talking to you -- this isn't what ICANN wants, it's what all the technical communities (names, addresses and protocol parameters) have wanted for years.

    There's nothing Congress can do anyway - even if they wasted their time passing a law at this late stage, the President would certainly veto it. By the time a new Administration gets into the White House, it will be too late. Thank goodness.

    It's true that ICANN is flawed. Once the silly US Govt contract is out of the way, the technical communities will be free to tackle the flaws.

  3. Ole Juul


    "tear up ICANN and its fossilized flaws, get the internet back to its technical roots, and set up a new body focused on resolving the political and commercial issues that have turned ICANN into the mess it is."

    I vote for Kieren McCarthy.

  4. RudeUnion


    Those assholes don't believe in science. Throw them a dinosaur riding Jesus t-shirt and this argument will be over.

  5. nematoad

    "ICANN would have a very hard time arguing greater authority than Congress."

    That's not the way ICANN sees it.

    As the article says just look at recent history to see that.

  6. The Quiet One

    Tough Luck yankees

    Perhaps they would like Mrs May to pop over and warn then that they will be at the back of the queue for new domain registrations if they leave this arrangement.....

  7. Eduard Coli

    Anything but ICANN

    I could see a more neutral third party but not ICANN.

    ICANN is corrupt, self serving and evil.

    One need only look at the history of ICANN to see why they should not be in charge of a toaster never mind domains.

  8. ideapete


    " The Russia/China/Iran argument has been repeatedly rebutted by both experts and reporters,"

    or just plain stupid

  9. Frank Oz

    And ....

    ICANN has added value to the Internet and its users - how?

    Seems to me it's been good for government and government control, it's been good for a host of bureaucrats who want to get on the gravy train, and it's been good for those who want to commercialise the net even more ... but for users, little numbers like the IETF and open standards, better domain name administration, assigned number allocation and the running of the net generally - it has made no discernible difference.

    1. Tom -1

      @Frank Os - Re: And ....

      No discernable difference? I think it's made significnt discernable difference by its efforts to ensure that the domain name administration has been designed to line ICANN management pockets instead of do what's best for the net. Given the history, I find it amazing that anyone can disagree,

  10. Agent Tick


    ICANN should not rule the planet! - just the US domains and all other countries have their own This does not mean the global Internet can not work.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like