Who Should Control the Internet?
Who Owns the Internet?
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a private corporation which is trying to control the Internet, does not include any popularly-elected board members. Its directors all became directors without democracy.
Embarrassed by publicity about this, ICANN decided to allow 11 seats on its board to be elected by citizens. Then, once the negative publicity faded, it quietly changed its mind and chose to allow just five seats to be elected. Five seats for the entire world.
Now ICANN is in the midst of a poorly-executed and possibly corrupt multi-phase electoral system. One of the candidates for the ICANN board was labor activist Eric Lee. In the first round of voting, Lee finished 4th out of 54 candidates for the one seat allocated to residents of North America. Only the top three vote-recipients move to the next round of voting, so Lee's campaign is over. But he's still busy; here is what Lee says:
This phase is now over -- but the struggle to democratize the governance of cyberspace and in particular to give labour a voice in that process has just begun.We recommend that you look at Lee's book and develop your own opinions on who owns the Internet, and who ought to be controlling it.
As a contribution to that struggle, I have just published as an e- book, "The Internet belongs to everyone". It is a 173 page volume addressing such matters as the governing bodies of cyberspace (and not only ICANN), the internationalization of the net, and the role of the unions.
I look forward to reading your comments on the book and to working with you in the future on these important questions.
What's your opinion on the Internet? Should it be governed by a secretive, nondemocratic organization? Who, if anyone, can claim ownership of the Internet? Tell your views to The Progress Report:
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