October 1, 2016 was a landmark in the history of the internet. Since this day the American government is no longer solely in control of the root servers of the internet.
IANA, who administrates the root servers, no longer has their contract with the US, but is controlled by ICANN instead. They are controlled by a range of international stakeholders, which includes international branch organizations, ngo’s, civil society groups, states and private companies.
Celebration of the open internet
In DIFO we appreciate this development and have been directly involved in the process in the recent years. We celebrate an open and democratic internet and we see the internet as a global good, which must be internationally controlled and available for everyone.
USA’s transition of the responsibility is a step in the right direction, because the fundamental intention with the internet is it to be open to everyone on even conditions.
The internet as political weapon
In theory USA had the power to stop all traffic to one specific country before the transition, and in that way use the internet as a political weapon.
This power has never been applied, but by principle it is good to bring things like this in order before a crisis breaks. It is a concern which should be solved when the parts are still friends, so it will not be a problem if you no longer are friends one day.
In the new form of government all nations are stakeholders, and therefore USA is now contributing at the same level as other nations. If the transition had not been successful, a consequence could have been several internets, because some nations does not accept the dominance of one single state.
Can ICANN handle the job?
DIFO is looking forward to the future participation in ICANN work, which we will continuously will a part of. The new organization will though demand that ICANN and all multi stakeholders behind is capable of handling the assignment.
But right now we are happy about the principal decision, which is leading us in the right direction.