According to former U.S. president Bill Clinton, Obama’s plan to relinquish control of the Internet will enable foreign governments to crack down and limit Internet freedom.
Last week the Obama administration announced that they were looking for private company to take over the US handling of internet address.
Clinton has joined a number of critics in the US and around the world who think this is a bad and would lead to vulnerability of the internet freedom.
Speaking at Arizona State University, Clinton and Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales doubted the benefits of such a change. Bluntly, Clinton claims introducing a system of global oversight will empower “governments that want to gag people, and restrict access to the Internet.”
“I understand in theory why we should have a multi-stakeholder process…I just know that a lot of these so-called stakeholders are really governments that want to gag people, and restrict access to the Internet.”
Clinton asked Wales on stage if he is concerned that this decision will negatively impact Internet freedom. In response, Wales said “yes, I’m very worried about it.”
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Both Clinton and Wales (controversially) claim the National Security Agency revelations should not affect judgement of the U.S.’ ability to oversee the Internet. Clinton exclaimed that the U.S. “has kept the Internet free.”