Dictatorships Cutting Up Internet to ‘Control People,’ ICANN Warns

Authoritarian regimes worldwide are seeking to fracture and censor the internet to “control people,” according to a senior official from ICANN, the body running the global system of IP addresses.

Potentially Fragmented Internet

The warning that dictators around the globe are increasingly trying to “cup up” the web to control their populations has come from David Huberman from ICANN (“Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers”).

ICANN is formally a nonprofit which oversees the proper functioning of IP addresses – and it bills itself as “dedicated” to an internet that is “secure, stable, and interoperable.”

Speaking before the Cloudfest industry meeting in Germany, Huberman complained on ICANN’s behalf that dictatorships are increasingly seeking to prevent the web from being “interoperable” and to “cut it up” to try to tighten their hold on their populations.

The ICANN official described the possible “fragmentation” of the internet as a “worrying topic,” Der Spiegel reported, as cited by Breitbart News. He dwelled on the “authoritarian” nature of the governments that are in favor of cracking the internet into different national or regional subsystems.

While Huberman didn’t name any specific dictatorial nations that he may have referred to, the report mentioned the three main countries that experts are worried about: Communist China, Putin’s Russia, and Islamist Iran.

West Issues

The report notes, however, that some western governments are also resorting to internet censorship over certain causes – such as the European Union and the United Kingdom.

The EU, in particular, has been seeking to crack down on vast, highly destructive Russian propaganda and misinformation, which oftentimes seeks to directly foment unrest in specific European nations that are US allies.

Britain, on the other hand, is dealing with a profound controversy regarding internet censorship and involving a draft bill on online safety. The new legislation would allow regulators significant powers to censor content on social media that may be considered “problematic.”

Because of the bill, a number of apps, such as WhatsApp and Signal, have threatened to pull their services from the UK.

This article appeared in The State Today and has been published here with permission.