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The World Wide Web wants to know what you think about a transition plan that would supplant the supervisory role the United States has exercised in making the Internet work worldwide, to some unspecified “multistakeholder” entity.

WND has reported that at least two plans already pending in Congress are aimed at stopping that, and tens of thousands of people already have signed a petition to halt what has been proposed by the Obama administration.

In fact, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., noted that the Internet “has had a revolutionary impact on shaping commerce around the globe and has been a leading driver for jobs, innovation, economic freedom, and social change.”

She said its power is from “its bottom-up governance, an open ecosystem and decentralized nature” and governments should be kept out.

“In a perfect world ICANN and IANA would be fully privatized and free from any government influence or control,” she said.

ICANN is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and IANA is the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority.

They work to make certain that people who are looking for the White House occupied by the Obamas don’t end up online at a “White House” that is a porn site.

It is the ICANN that now has opened a time period, through midnight May 8, to accept public comment on the supervision of the web.

Comments should be submitted through ianatransition@icann.org.

The announcement explains the National Telecommunications and Information Administration intends to “transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multistakeholder community.”

The process includes the request for input on the ideas of inclusiveness, transparency, global nature, accountability, focus, pragmatism and openness.

Also, it cites as an important component: “Do no harm.”

“Participation is open to anyone who wishes to engage in this process. There are many existing fora among the affected parties, and beyond, that are engaging in dialogues at their regional events,” the announcement confirms.

It also suggests the online comment process at ianatransition@icann.org.

WND columnist Phyllis Schlafly noted that the U.S. control of the basic functions of the Web “has kept the Web free for Americans and for the entire world. And it’s up to us to keep it that way.”

“As Ronald Reagan said during the great Panama Canal controversy in the mid-1970s, ‘We bought it. We built it. We paid for it. We intend to keep it,’” she wrote.

And when the U.S. Senate gave it away, “angry voters defeated two dozen senators who voted for that treaty and induced eight more to retire.”

She continued, “President Obama tried to hide the news of his abandonment of our control of the Internet by having an assistant secretary in the Department of Commerce issue a low-key press release in those late Friday afternoon hours where embarrassing news is often buried. Was this an April Fools joke? The U.S. created the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and has kept control over the technical procedures that allow computers around the world to connect to Web addresses. ICANN has managed the Internet’s Domain Name System since 1998, ensuring that the Internet runs efficiently without political pressure from any country.

“Now the Obama Commerce Department wants to give ICANN away and even invite Communist China and Russia to help us police the Internet. That’s like telling the fox to guard the chicken coop because those countries don’t believe in free speech and don’t even allow their own people to have free access to the Internet,” she said.

It took just days for more than 113,000 people to sign a petition by the American Center for Law and Justice opposing the plan.

And legislative plans are being assembled by Reps. John Shimkus, R-Ill., Todd Rokita, R-Ind., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Mike Kelly, R-Pa.

“Whether the administration acknowledges it or not, America has strong interests in ensuring that freedom of speech and freedom of commerce are protected on the Internet, for the benefit of American citizens as well as for people worldwide,” Kelly said.

“The power and reach of the Internet are far too important to liberty to ever be surrendered to forces that could potentially use their power to limit the Internet’s reach and suppress the free flow of ideas,” he said.

The American Center for Law and Justice said the Obama administration is pushing into dangerous territory.

“This move would put the online liberty of Americans at great risk,” said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ. “By turning over this key oversight to an international community – which is likely to include countries hostile to America – the world’s most powerful instrument of free speech would be subject to censorship, could be taxed, and would make it easier for cyber-fraud schemes to expand in countries around the globe.”

Sekulow said the “success and freedom of the Internet would be in grave jeopardy if the Obama administration is allowed to carry through with its plan to turn over control of the Internet to a ‘multinational’ body.”

“Free speech is at the core of our Constitution. We’re working with members of Congress on legislation to keep the Internet – and our free speech – free,” he said.

 

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