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Digital DepressionInformation Technology and Economic Crisis$
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Dan Schiller

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038761

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038761.001.0001

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Beyond a U.S.-centric Internet?

Beyond a U.S.-centric Internet?

(p.185) Chapter 13 Beyond a U.S.-centric Internet?
Digital Depression

Dan Schiller

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the mechanism of the United States's internet control over the Domain Name System (DNS). The mechanism of U.S. internet control over the DNS was formalized after President Bill Clinton directed the Commerce Department to privatize the DNS in 1997. Legal contracts were drawn up, binding the Department to a for-profit corporation called VeriSign and to a private, not-for-profit corporation, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The chapter considers the Commerce Department's DNS initiative as an example of the geopolitics of today's internet, an extraterritorial projection of U.S. policymaking that was extraordinary for transforming into a venue where other countries mounted a concerted diplomatic challenge to U.S. power. The chapter also discusses the multi-stakeholderism in U.S.-centric internet and Edward Snowden's revelations regarding the National Security Agency's surveillance of global internet traffic.

Keywords:   internet, Domain Name System, Commerce Department, VeriSign, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, geopolitics, Edward Snowden, National Security Agency, surveillance

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