Business

Why fix Internet oversight if it’s not broken?

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Here’s something you don’t generally see in a column on technology -- an appeal to patriotism.

We rightly think of the Internet as a global communications network. But in a very important sense, it’s an American network. The Obama Administration plans to change this, and therein lies a potential problem.

Last week, the administration said the US will begin negotiations to cede control of one of the ‘Net’s most powerful institutions, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN. Currently overseen by the US Department of Commerce, ICANN will be taken over by an international agency to be assembled later. The process is set to begin next week in Singapore, where the current ICANN stakeholders are scheduled to meet.

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