ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers) governs and regulates all the .com and the .net of the world. These also include the Internet country code of .sy for Syria and the .ir for Iran.
Within the ICANNÂ frameworkÂ are many agreements with the US Commerce Department and the international community to facilitate and coordinate all matters related to many aspects of the Internet components essentials for access.
According to ICANN”™s website, ICANN claims it
“.. coordinates theÂ Domain Name System (DNS), Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and root server system management functions. These services were originally performed under U.S. Government contract by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and other entities.Â ICANNÂ now performs theÂ IANAÂ function. ICANN, for example,”
This makes ICANN the nerve center of the Internet.
Of late, many countries, led by China, Russia, and India, have complained that the Internet heartbeat remains in US hands. These countries would like to see the UN manage the Internet, whichÂ essentiallyÂ means more restrictions on freedom of speech.
As of yet, ICANN has not had any influence or been used as part of the West normal economic sanctions programs we bear witness to for rogue countries. ICANN is, by far, the most potent weapon the US has in its arsenal. Its use as such, though, can start many lethal wars.
When countries like Russia, China, and India come together to battle US supremacy in this field, it is a signal of how important it is to remove ICANN”™s control from US hands. Â I do not see why if DARPA invented the embryonic Internet, the US should relinquish control. The very same UN that wants to control ICANN also installs Iran and Syria on human rights commissions.
Through ICANN, the US could today block access to the Internet to Syrian government offices. It can re-direct traffic coming from hackers and malicious in-country attacks to cyber cemeteries. It can suspend accounts connected with specific government services and it can manage access in ways to destroy and disable communications for the most insidious programs or actions by rogue governments.
However, stepping into this area is dangerous as it sets a precedent many countries around the world would see as representative of threats to their national security.
ICANN is like a cyber-atomic bomb with the precision of a scalpel. The US cannot lose control and it should work with other Western nations for the day when terrorist countries like Syria or Iran use chemical weapons or develop nuclear programs, ICANN can remove that threat by turning the lights off on that government. If any Internet domain that ends with .gov.sy or .gov.ir re-direct you to Disney”™s website and sanctions on transfers to commercial domain names are blocked, the Syrian and the Iranian governments come to a screeching halt.
Instead of relinquishing control, the US Government should work with like-minded western countries to add ICANN to its arsenal the same way freezing bank accounts is part of its routine of sanctions.
Honestly, the US Government should treat ICANN like a currency. If rogue Syria or Iran cannot trade with a Dollar to buy goods in support of their trade of terror, they should not be permitted to use communications as a facilitator weapon for terror.