Former Bush administration State Department senior advisor Christian Whiton says the Obama Administration's decision to hand over control of the internet and domain names to the rest of the world is the "Obama equivalent" of Jimmy Carter giving away the Panama Canal. He says it could open the door to a global web tax and endanger the security of both the Internet and the U.S.
“U.S. management of the internet has been exemplary and there is no reason to give this away — especially in return for nothing,” former Bush administration State Department senior advisor Christian Whiton told The Daily Caller. “This is the Obama equivalent of Carter’s decision to give away the Panama Canal — only with possibly much worse consequences.”
The U.S. Commerce Department announced late Friday it would relinquish control of The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) after its current contract expires next year.
In response to months of criticism from the rest of the world over the NSA snooping programs, the administration gave up the remaining control of the internet.
“While the Obama administration says it is merely removing federal oversight of a non-profit, we should assume ICANN would end up as part of the United Nations,” Whiton said. “If the U.N. gains control what amounts to the directory and traffic signals of the Internet, it can impose whatever taxes it likes. It likely would start with a tax on registering domains and expand from there.”
ICANN’s Lebanese-born CEO Fadi Chehadé had already recently discussed setting up an office in Geneva — the location of the largest U.N. presence outside New York. If folded into the U.N.’s International Telecommunication Union, the organization would have access to a significant revenue stream outside of member contributions for the first time.
“What little control there is over the U.N. would be gone,” Whiton said.
The greater danger posed by the giveaway lies with the security of the Internet itself. While the U.S. has never used ICANN in a war or crisis situation, the potential exists for it to obstruct Internet commerce or deter foreign cyber attacks – powerful tools in the globalized information age.
Obama's decsion about surrendering the internet to the world is all about making the US just one more ordinary country at the greattable of nations to paraphrase Dinseh D'Souza. Whiton says that the decision could lead to a hostile power launching a cyber attack on the US and even disabling our access to the net.
“Under invariably incompetent U.N. control, it could mean a hostile foreign power disabling the Internet for us,” Whiton said.