RIGHT WING PANIC MONGER Fox News has claimed that US President Barack Obama is about to "give the internet away".
A Fox News TV report aired last Friday in which presenter Gregg Jarrett reacted to news that the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) will be removed from US government control and assigned to the international community.
This will mean that the US no longer has unilateral control over the assignment of top level domains. However, Jarrett told his Fox News audience that he couldn't believe that one man could "make a decision to give away something that has been probably one of the greatest inventions by Americans".
The spin came as a result of a press release from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announcing the move, confirming that it was the implementation of a plan that has been in place since 1998 to release control of IANA at a later date.
In a separate statement, the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) supported the move, saying, "The transition of the US government stewardship has been envisaged since the early days of [the] IANA functions contract. This transition is now feasible due to the maturity of the internet technical organizations involved in performing their respective roles related to the IANA functions, and ICANN will facilitate a global, multi-stakeholder process to plan for the transition."
Fox News meanwhile continued to point fingers at the Obama administration, with one of Jarrett's guests suggesting the move was an act of "guilt" over recent National Security Agency (NSA) revelations, despite the fact that the legislation is 16 years old.
European Commission (EC) VP Neelie Kroes posted on her blog, "I am thrilled that the US Department of Commerce has announced that it will hand over control of some of the core internet functions to the global multi-stakeholder community. This means the US Government is honouring a long-standing promise at a critical time for internet governance."
A timeline for the handover of control will be mapped out, with ICANN pledging to have a clear roadmap ready for the end of its present contract with the US government in 2015. In the meantime, early talks will begin at a public meeting of ICANN in Singapore next week. µ