back to article Relax. It's OK, folks, the US government isn't going to try to take back control of the internet

The US government isn't serious about its own suggestion to take back control of the internet, a Congressional hearing revealed on Wednesday. Earlier this month, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) surprised many when it asked, bluntly – "Should the IANA Stewardship Transition be unwound? If …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Any plan to pull it back would be met with international fury."

    I've often said that IT's ultimate revenge is to give the users exactly what they asked for. Perhaps it's time to do that to Cruz and watch the wider, non-US, internet community just sideline IANA and all its works by simply redesignating one of the root mirrors as definitive.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Given the current omnishambles ICANN is currently presiding over on GDPR are we sure the US Government would be worse?

      1. Spanners Silver badge

        @7 mins Gordon 10

        Where ICANN failed to do its job with GDPR because of stupidity or incompetence, the US government could, by presidential decree or something, deliberately fail to because God has given them eminent domain or something. "And what are you furriners goin' to do about it?"

      2. James 51

        Given the current balkanization of the internet (here's looking at you Russia and China) there are those in various other countries who look on at the level of control with envy. That could be driving this 'take back the internet' effort. No more facebook posts showing how small a crowd was or police shooting unarmed civilians.

  2. veti Silver badge

    I don't know first-hand, but I'd be prepared to bet there are a non-trivial number of blowhards in right-leaning (therefore, Obama-hating) media who keep saying this must be done, without having any idea of how to do it.

    Posing this question to the public is a way of telling those people to put up or shut up.

    It will do some good, but probably not as much as you'd think. Media blowhards are quite capable of banging on for years with zero basis in reality. (And then getting elected president.) The best you can hope is that Cruz himself will be shamed into shutting up about it in future, but I wouldn't put money even on that.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      a non-trivial number of blowhards ... who keep saying this must be done, without having any idea of how to do it or even what "it" is.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "... there are a non-trivial number of blowhards in right-leaning (therefore, Obama-hating) media who keep saying this must be done, without having any idea of how to do it."

      That pretty much says it, as does the rest of your post.

  3. jake Silver badge

    But ...

    ... the US government never had control of The Internet. Can't take back what you never owned in the first place! IANA and ICANN supposedly control(led) things, but it's always been easy to use the system without bothering to go through them.

    1. Carstairs

      Re: But ...

      Last I heard, the Internet was essentially a commercialization of Arpanet - a network sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency - a subdivision of the (US) Department of Defense. So the US govt really did have legitimate control of it, back in the day.

      On a side note: it's an example of government doing a good job. It paid for the original R&D - and later commercial funding helped to take it to the world-wide audience.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: But ...

        You heard wrong. The initial thingie that we now call "The Internet" was built by grad students & professors, with zero government oversight. The students & staff at Stanford, Berkeley & UCLA (and later Utah) had DARPA (later ARPA, later still DARPA again) money, yes. But the feds weren't looking over our shoulders. In fact if they HAD been, we probably wouldn't have been allowed to get on with it. They certainly had no control over what we were doing.

        The .gov sponsored commercialization was of NSFNet, which came later & was merged into the already existing Internet. We were world-wide long before this happened.

        1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

          Re: But ...

          jake is right, but it is also true that today's commercial internet is pretty much under the control of ICANN, because the commercial internet heavily relies on (mostly) shared naming (and, although to a much lesser extent, shared numbering).

          While private IP-based networks are possible (and used to be common, and partially still exist today as corporate intranets), only ubergeeks and special interest groups (militaries, terrorist groups?) would really be up for operating a global IP-based network without use of the normal DNS.

  4. Andy 97

    Is Ted Cruz still a "thing"?

    1. Spanners Silver badge
      Big Brother

      @andy 97

      At 47, he could be around for a while yet.

      If the world (not just the USA) is lucky, he will decide to have his political career terminating scandal sooner rather than wait until his late 50s or beyond as is the tradition with his sort.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: @andy 97

        47?????? That makes younger than me, yet he looks at least 20 years older..

  5. one crazy media

    Of Course not

    US Government is too busy giving control of the Internet to AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon. Ajit Pai will see to it, so he can have a cushy job and become zillionnaire when he leaves the FCC.

  6. adam payne

    "My view," Cruz went on, before asking a question, "is that the INA transition was a grossly irresponsible decision that presents a real threat to First Amendment rights and reduced the United States' ability to offer protection to the core functions of the internet."

    Why would the world need the US to protect the internet?

    1. James 51

      Russia and China have been trying to force non-UN bodies to hand control of the internet to what ever UN body they can control so that they can shape it as a measure of control over their population. This is the scenairo that Ted Cruz and others will outline when they demand that control be handed over to them instead.

      1. JohnFen

        But then who will protect the internet from the US government?

        1. jake Silver badge

          The Internet interprets governments as damage and routes around them. That's how it was designed, right from the beginning.

        2. Fungus Bob

          Re: But then who will protect the internet from the US government?

          Ted Cruz. Once he get control of the internets, everyone outside of Texas will make an even better replacement that routes around the old one. You can do things like that when you're a superhero that flys around on the back of a yuuuge eagle. Unless the new Ted Cruz coloring book is full of lies...

  7. Someone Else Silver badge

    But at a hearing in front of the Senate's science and commerce committee on Wednesday, it became clear that the question was included simply to appease a single senator: Ted Cruz (R-TX).

    Ted Cruz, probably the dumbest fuck in the Senate....

    1. jake Silver badge

      Hard to say.

      When you're looking at that segment of the stupidity scale, it's kind of hard to test for "stupidest". They all kind of pool together in a pit of experimental error.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        Re: Hard to say.

        Point taken.

        Just basing my assessment on public utterances (which, in his case, consists of various grunts and guttural expressions that someone, with the right inebriants on board, could reasonably misinterpret as speech).

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Analog Reality, Digital Insanity

    "Relax. It's OK, folks, the US government isn't going to try to take back control of the internet"

    That's because you haven't got any control anyway.

    Just the convenient perception.

    Metaphore: As produced by the comic-mag Magician Mandrake it's mass hypnosis, a public perception that you are part of something bigger, when really it all just a big chat bot sucking your soul.

    By comparison, It's more beneficial and rewarding to talk to yourself, but you cannot beat socialising in the real world. Don't let them take that away.

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Ted Cruz. Texas Senator. Fomer Presidential Candidate.

    And (IMHO) massive f**kwit.

    Well overdue for a tap or two from the clue stick .

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