US Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota a couple of days ago introduced a “sense of the Senate” resolution calling for the US to fight any efforts to turn over internet governance to the United Nations. His main argument is that turning over oversight of the internet’s structural resources over to an international body would mean that the despots of the world would be able to control the Internet.
Coleman maintains in his press release that:
There is no rational justification for politicizing Internet governance within a U.N. framework. Nor is there a rational basis for the anti-U.S. resentment driving the proposal… At the World Summit next month, the Internet is likely to face a grave threat. If we fail to respond appropriately, we risk the freedom and enterprise fostered by this informational marvel, and end up sacrificing access to information, privacy, and protection of intellectual property we have all depended on. This is not a risk I am prepared to take, which is why I initiated action to respond on a Senate level to this danger.
Brett Fausett provides a helpful link to Coleman’s resolution here.
You can see the US conservative spin machine turning this into a battle between the democracy-loving US government protecting the internet from censorship from the dictators and thugs who run the United Nations.
The reality of course is more complex. When you have non-despotic states like the entire EU, Canada and South Africa calling for greater international involvement in the management of the root server system, you have to wonder who Sen. Coleman is talking about.
Of course no one wants China or Cuba to be tinkering with the addressing system of the Net. So the US government maintains that (1) it built the internet, (2) therefore it owns the internet, and (3) that it will continue that ownership into the future. Is it any wonder that the rest of the world has a little problem with this scenario?