March 14, 2014
On Friday afternoon, we wrote about the basic non-story about how NTIA (a part of the Commerce Department) will be relinquishing what little “control” it had over ICANN’s IANA function. The US government already had little to no actual say over anything that ICANN was doing. The organization has been almost entirely independent from the beginning, and this move really just helps to clarify things, while actually taking some pressure off of ICANN so that other countries can’t whine and complain (incorrectly) that the internet is “under US control.”
Still, with headlines everywhere screaming about how the US is “giving up control” over the internet, you had to know that it was going to become some sort of political issue. And, indeed, a bunch of politicians are up in arms about this, with the most vocal (by far) critic of this move being Rep. Mary Bono, who tweeted angrily on Friday about how we should all be concerned about this and how we need to “keep the internet!”
Of course, since some of us have memories that go back more than a month or so, it’s not that difficult to remember Rep. Mary Bono was also one of the most vehement politicians against net neutrality. In fact, just three years ago, in launching an attack on net neutrality, this very same Rep. Mary Bono was screaming about stopping the “government takeover of the internet.” Sadly, that tweet is now deleted (gee… wonder why?).
Still, we’re curious about all of this, and are hoping that Rep. Bono can answer this basic question. If we needed to “stop the government takeover of the internet” a few years ago… and yet, today, it’s an incredibly important job for the government to “keep the internet,” what, exactly, is Rep. Bono’s position on US government control over the internet? Or is it just whatever bogus talking point she can use to fire up constituents into believing the government is about to do something bad?