Keepers Of The Internet Face Their Greatest Challenges Ever: CNN

Dec 26th, 2011 Web/Tech

On Dec. 21st, 2011, Mark Milian reported for CNN on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).  The article boldly asserts that "the Internet doesn't have a flag or a national anthem, but it does have a government", and that for the most part ICANN plays that role.  That statement is bold because many would say that the internet has no government, and ICANN itself maintains that it plays a limited role.  

For those who don't know, ICANN is an organization that coordinates the Domain Name System (DNS), which basically converts complicated IP addresses into easy to remember domain names.  Thus, ICANN's major role is to ensure that each domain name is unique, and that each domain name will bring you to the right IP address.  That service is extremely important.  However, ICANN does not control the internet: its website notes that "ICANN's role is very limited, and it is not responsible for many issues associated with the Internet, such as financial transactions, Internet content control, spam (unsolicited commercial email), Internet gambling, or data protection and privacy."  So while ICANN performs an important service, its powers fall far short of internet governance.

The rest of the article explores ICANN's role in the context of international politics.  ICANN was once affiliated with the US government, but now plays a more independent role where it is "rarely able to please everyone."  In exercising its power over domain names, ICANN receives proposals for new net initiatives from both governments and internet registry organizations.  ICANN then votes on these proposals.  The problem is, many view ICANN's decision process as too slow.  Again, ICANN is rarely able to please everyone, especially in an area as controversial as the internet.

In short, there is still no power governing the internet.  ICANN certainly plays an important role, but its powers fall far short of governance.  The question still remains whether there should be a power governing the internet.  As to that question, I'll refer you back to this earlier blog post.

The source article can be found here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Authors

Untitled Document
Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a third year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. Full biography

Shelby E. Mann

Ryan D. WhiteShelby is a second year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law. She is the 2018-9 Editor in Chief of the Syracuse Law Review, as well as a member of the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. During her final year at the University of Missouri, she served as a full-time news producer for ABC 17 News. Shelby spent her first summer of law school at the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, Tenn., in the Public Corruption and Economic Crimes Unit. Full biography

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a 2017 graduate of SU College of Law. A non-traditional student, Christopher returned to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering. Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

Anna Maria Castillois 2016 graduate of Syracuse College of Law. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She served as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse College of Law and is a prosecutor. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and its College of Law. She wrote for this blog when a student. She is now a member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography

Categories