Summary: Now is the time to act immediately to preserve an open and free internet backed by the U. S. Government and the accountability of U. S. voters, many of whom are women. If you are a citizen of the United States, please contact your Senator and Representative in Congress today! or by 30 September 2016 to strongly oppose the transfer of the United State’s oversight role of ICANN-The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, to an international body which includes many despotic regimes who do not hold free speech nor the accountability of voters as core principles.

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The U. S. has moved towards surrender of the internet in previous administrations, but President Obama is acting to transfer the final control of ICANN to an international body in two days, on 1 October 2016. The effects of the transfer will not likely be immediately felt, giving those who support it the opportunity to equate it with Y2K-“See! False alarm”, and yet the slow erosion of free speech and the loss of unregulated space which has been a key engine of innovation, equality, and information will have been doused with water to rust. As the creaking oxidation slowly creeps in, one can expect increased censorship, as is already practiced in nations such as Saudi Arabia and China. How can countries like Iran, China or their ilk improve the oversight to include more freedom when they themselves are censors of the internet?

Others who are sure to benefit are multi-national corporations who owe less and less allegiance to the United States and have already demonstrated their willingness to subordinate your personal freedom to profit and cozy relationships with despotic regimes. So where is the little guy to go to keep the internet accountable? Right now, you can call Congress-in two days you may not.

Who Stands to Lose?
Women in the U. S. enjoy greater freedom and economic advantages than women in most other countries, not to mention the right to vote in free elections. A free and open internet can and has changed the lives of thousands of female entrepreneurs and activists who can operate as equals online, where this ability is not available to them within in their society. As global internet access increases, this will become more and more the case, IF the internet remains free and accountable to U. S. voters, women worldwide will undoubtedly have more and more of a voice. A very similar case can be made for the LGBT community, Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, Christians and other people of faith who all currently find representation, a voice, and accountability in the U. S. Congress.

Who Stands to Lose?
Free Speech
now protected by U. S. law and culture on the internet could soon be subject to inferior laws of the international community which do not equally cherish free speech to the same degree as guaranteed by our Bill of Rights-if at all.

Who Stands to Lose?
English Speaking People may be surprised to find that the internet will become not only less free, but less friendly to English.

Who Stands to Lose?
U. S. Technological Advances
and cybersecurity are top concerns of US experts, as is a brain drain of the most talented internet experts which the U. S. currently enjoys. Goodbye Silicon Valley….

Who Stands to Lose?
Society, culture and education. As many people, especially our youth, spend up to ten hours on line each day and more, the free access to information they currently enjoy may be increasingly stifled and propagandized. If the precedent set by countries to whom we are handing over these controls is any guide-you can count on it!

Who Stands to Lose?
Privacy of anyone who owns a website. ICANN has your physical address, telephone number and other information which will no longer be preserved as accountable to US law, voters and Congress.

Who Stands to Lose?
Copyright holders and intellectual property right holders
who enjoy the enforceable protection of U. S. copyright law may be surprised to find that copyright law is not enforced throughout the globe, this will become even more true if the U. S. loses oversight of ICANN based on lack of copyright enforcement and the past behavior China and other stake holders regarding copyright enforcement is any guide. Good bye Hollywood profits….

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Who Stands to Lose?
U. S. Taxpayers, who paid for the development of the internet through their tax dollars, will receive no compensation when the oversight of this multi-million dollar corporation is yielded to international interests in two days.

Wall Street Journal

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