The end of US influence over the internet is coming. On Friday, Internet Governance expert Milton Mueller reported that “the Directors of all the major Internet organizations – ICANN, the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet Architecture Board, the World Wide Web Consortium, the Internet Society, all five of the regional Internet address registries – turned their back on the US government.”
After the PRISM revelations, the major Internet organizations no longer perceive that the United States government can sustain its ‘special relationship’ with the internet. They would like to move towards a globalization of ICANN and IANA functions.
This is a big shake-up of some of the core institutions of internet governance, and an indication that the revelations about surveillance are inspiring a big change in the way the internet is governed. The Brazilan government is now set to host an important internet governance meeting in April 2014 with a broad range of stakeholders and experts.
Brazil’s anger over US surveillance has erupted not just in relation to PRISM but also to alleged US spying on Brazil’s national oil company, Petrobras. With this forthcoming meeting, Brazil’s president Dilma Roussef appears to be looking to position her country among others as a counterweight to the US. Watch this space!
This article gives the views of the author, and does not represent the position of the LSE Media Policy Project blog, nor of the London School of Economics.