Are black helicopters taking over the Internet? According to Rebecca Mackinnon at FP.com not if a broad group including Congress, the Obama Administration, Silicon Valley and civil liberties groups can stop it (and they can).
Underneath it all she points out are efforts by powerful governments such as Russia and China to wrest control of the Internet from private control. (Leaked document analysis thanks to the Center for Democracy and Technology).
But will they succeed? “There is no doubt that some governments, notably Russia, would like to see the ITU replace ICANN and other private sector-based Internet institutions,” Syracuse University professor Milton Mueller wrote in a recent blog post recapping much of the history and distilling highlights from his book on the struggle published two years ago. “What most people dont realize, however, is that certain governments have advocated that position for more than a decade — and they have repeatedly failed to realize those goals.”
Milton Mueller, the author of Networks and States notes that this has been occurring since 1996 but there is no concern for a sudden takeover, nor is there growing political support for the ITU, and even the notion of “intergovernmentalism” is losing power. He suggests the biggest challenges come from India, China, Russia, and even other countries that might attempt to control or regulate the Internet.