The U.S. announced its plan to pass the oversight of the agency to a global governance model on October 1, 2016. The Obama Administration says that the transition will have no practical effects on the internet's functioning or its users, and even considers the move necessary in order to maintain international support for the internet and to prevent a fracturing of its governance. Oh really?
The absence of the U.S. in overseeing the governance of the internet could spell the end of the current era of free speech on the internet, as well as free enterprise.
What guarantees are there that internet governance will not eventually end up in the hands of those very governments, seeing as they are all very eager to gain control of it? None. The Geneva Declaration of Principles makes clear that the UN, run by a majority of authoritarian governments, wants a decisive role for governments in internet governance.
Civil society groups and activists are calling on Congress to sue the Obama Administration -- perhaps at least to postpone the date until more Americans are aware of the plan. It is not too late.
Very soon, on October 1, 2016, much of the internet's governance will shift from the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) authority to a nonprofit multi-stakeholder entity, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, also known by its acronym ICANN.
Until now, NTIA has been responsible for key internet domain name functions, such as the coordination of the DNS (Domain Name System) root, IP addresses, and other internet protocol resources. But in March 2014, the U.S. announced its plan to let its contract with ICANN to operate key domain name functions expire in September 2015, passing the oversight of the agency to a global governance model. The expiration was subsequently delayed until October 1, 2016.
According to the NTIA's press release at the time,
The Minister for Immigration Affairs himself, repeatedly stated that 50% to 70% of migratory flows to Greece were illegal migrants and the rest were refugees. The illegal migrants come from 77 different countries.
If it is a "racist crime" for a citizen to express accurately the percentages of refugees and illegal migrants entering the country, what will come next, the Thought Police?
The real reason for prosecuting Bishop Markos, it seems, is that the government expects that Turkey's migration deal with the EU will collapse, and that if it does, the migrant flows in the coming months will increase dramatically. The government, according to some members in the opposition, has no friendly way to manage illegal migration and therefore prefers to impose restrictions on freedom of speech and prosecute anyone who objects.
The government might scare the Bishop of Chios Island by pressing charges against him and trying to stigmatize him as a racist. But the government will still not scare the angry majority of Greeks.
Left: The Bishop of the Greek island of Chios, Markos Vasilakis, is being prosecuted for incitement to racial hatred, because he correctly observed that most of the migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey were not refugees but illegal migrants. Right: Migrants occupying the port of Chios in April 2016.
In coalmines, from 1911 to 1986, canaries operated as an early warning system for the leakage of hazardous gases. Whenever the birds showed signs of distress, the miners knew trouble was coming.
Greece has deep problems. Greece is presently in the "coalmine" of an endless economic and immigration crisis.
This month, for the first time, there was a request to activate an anti-racist law, passed in September 2014, against a Greek citizen who also has institutional status.
The coalition government of Alexis Tsipras (SYRIZA) and Panos Kammenos (Independent Greeks) asked the district attorney to prosecute the Bishop of Chios Island, Markos Vasilakis, because he dared to say, during a sermon, that the thousands of people who recently arrived from Turkey on the island of Chios are illegal migrants, and not Syrian refugees.