Internet as International Allegory

The obviousness of keeping the Internet out of the hands of U.N.-approved tyrannies provides an opportunity to consider the internationalist impulse more generally:

When hundreds of technology experts from around the world gather here this week to hammer out the future of the Internet, the hottest issue won’t be spam, phishing or any of the other phenomena that bedevil users everywhere.
Instead, ending U.S. control over what’s become a global network will be at the top of the agenda for many of the more than 2,000 participants expected at the United Nations Internet Governance Forum …
With the Internet now dominating nearly aspect of modern life, continued U.S. control of the medium has become a sensitive topic worldwide. In nations that try to control what people can see and hear, the Internet often is the only source of uncensored news and opinion.
U.S. officials say that keeping Internet functions under their control has protected that free flow of information and kept the Internet growing reliably.

As I understand the structure, the U.S. government’s actual “control” of the functioning of the Internet is minimal. The back-room, bird’s eye view of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) certainly has potential for abuse, but I bet more people than might want to admit it trust the American people and their government to keep their hands off it more than they trust any other slice of the global society to do the same.

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