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Stealth Threat, Hidden Agenda: ICANN=the WTO of the Internet

by ReClaimThe.Net Monday, Apr. 09, 2001 at 3:04 PM

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers was formed in 1998 behind closed doors by bureuacrats inside the US Department of Commerce and their friends from the corporate sector. At most ICANN should only be responsible for keeping track of domain assignments and acting as a repository for technical data about the domain system. Instead ICANN is bullying itself into the position of World Government over the Internet, in the corporate interest, casting the rights of individuals to the wayside.

Stealth Threat, Hidden Agenda:
ICANN--The WTO of the Internet

The Globalization of Power over Access and Content on the Internet through the Control over the Domain Name System Read the full story:

Corporate Rule threatens to place a stranglehold over access and content on the internet. Name.Space has taken the struggle against corporate rule head on in the courts, in the halls of Congress and in the media. The political and economic stakes are high and will have a lasting impact over the future of individuals' access, free speech, privacy on the internet.

On the surface the issue seems mundane: adding number and diversity of domain name extensions (i.e. "art." "media." "politics." "sucks.") to the existing "legacy" domain name system (i.e. "com." "net." "org." "uk." "au." "ca."), which aids users in connecting to content and resources over the net. Behind the scenes lies the US Military and Intelligence communities and their corporate partners who have historically reaped the gravy train of "outsourced" activities of the military industrial complex (that many call "corporate welfare").


In a world where globalization threatens the loss of our sovereignty and law, our Constitutional protections are being superseded by corporate contracts, reducing the rule of law and civil society to the service agreements you sign for things like energy and communications, as well as hospitals, transportation, and even prisons. It's where private gated communities replace public space and where the intellectual property rights of corporations rule over the speech rights of individuals, where those with the most money control what is allowed to be said or seen in the media and by whom.

ICANN has its roots in the corporations MCI,ATT, IBM, AOL, and close ties to WIPO, INTA, MPAA and other heavyweights in the intellectual property lobby. In what should be a rather mundane role of keeping track of toplevel domain assignments, and repository for technical data pertaining to the DNS, ICANN has burrowed itself into the role of world government in cyberspace, much in the same sense as the WTO in "corporatespace", regulating access and content under the dictates of corporate rule as set forth by the NSA, WIPO, MPAA, and major corporate interests in networking, telecommunications and media such as NSI, AOL-Time Warner, Disney, MCI Worldcom, IBM, and others who have a vested interest in monopolizing content and publishing over all media. When it comes to freedom of speech and access to media, none of the above will ever receive any awards, and in fact are well known to use lawsuits to suppress criticism, parody, and fair use. In most cases under the ICANN's controversial Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) holders of trademarks are highly successful in what has become known as "reverse hijacking" of domains, often to chill public criticism of corporations through parody, as in the famous "" case in which Verizon sued 2600 Magazine for violating its trademark.


What can one do to counteract the invisible forces of ICANN and their attempt to become the global corporate ruler over the internet? The possibility for substantial public pressure by independent content producers is great since the refusal to publish expressive TLDs is a form of censorship, and as long as the "root" is still under the control of the US Government, it is subject to the First Amendment. By registering with Name.Space you are establishing cause for seeking relief for the denial of your right to publish under expressive domain names with policies set independly of ICANN and it's WTO-like practices. By switching your DNS you are making a political choice to vote NO against ICANN and their oppressive desires to regulate content and access using the domain name system. By supporting Name.Space with your registration fees you are using your economic power to support policies that respect your rights to access, privacy and free speech, and building a viable alternative to the otherwise devastating blow to our freedoms that we know as the "corporate media".

Put an end to corporate rule over the internet, or route around it! Switch to Name.Space!

Read the full story:

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that post was an ad! johnk Monday, Apr. 09, 2001 at 11:09 PM

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