Analysis

Threat to U.S. Control of the Internet Is Real and Growing
Google Vice President Vinton Cerf testifies at a House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing on international proposals to regulate the Internet on May 31, 2012.
June 8, 2012
| Economics
| The Americas
Summary
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Top administration officials joined members of the Federal Communications Commission and Vinton Cerf, one of the founding fathers of the Internet, last week in testifying before Congress of the dangers posed by an international effort underway to transfer control over the Internet from the United States to the United Nations. They expressed their fear that an upcoming UN conference in Dubai could be a game-changer with terrible consequences for the independence of the Internet. LIGNET shares their concerns.

Given strong bipartisan support in Congress for the United States to maintain its control over the Internet, the Dubai conference is unlikely to result in any real change in internet governance, at least in the short term. The authoritarian nations of the world, however, could persuade a large number of other states to get behind their project to give the United Nations control over the Internet. If that happens and an international agreement to that effect is reached at Dubai, it would be a blow to American interests even if the United States does not sign the treaty. 

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