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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Open Internet: Clinton vs. Obama -- The former president strongly defends the current system of oversight by the U.S. -- By L Gordon Crovitz, The Wall Street Journal

Bill Clinton You might think Bill Clinton would embrace the Obama administration's surrender of U.S. control over the Internet. After all, it was the Clinton administration in the 1990s that invented "multistakeholder" governance of the Internet.

Instead, Mr. Clinton, appearing on a panel discussion at a recent Clinton Global Initiative event, defended U.S. oversight of the domain-name system and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or Icann. As author of the multistakeholder concept, he knows it is only U.S. control that keeps other governments at bay, allowing stakeholders like engineers and private companies to operate an open Internet.

"A lot of people who have been trying to take this authority away from the U.S. want to do it for the sole purpose of cracking down on Internet freedom and limiting it and having governments protect their backsides instead of empower their people."

Mr. Clinton asked Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia: "Are you at all worried that if we give up this domain jurisdiction that we have had for all these years that we will lose Internet freedom?"

"I'm very worried about it," Mr. Wales answered. People outside the U.S. often say to him, "Oh, it's terrible. Why should the U.S. have this special power?" His reply: "There is the First Amendment in the U.S., and there is a culture of free expression."

He recalled being told on Icann panels to be more understanding of differences in cultures. "I have respect for local cultures, but banning parts of Wikipedia is not a local cultural variation that we should embrace and accept. That's a human-rights violation."
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