WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – Former President Bill Clinton said that Internet freedom will suffer if the U.S. gives up Internet oversight.
Speaking at Arizona State University Saturday, Clinton and Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales voiced their opinions and doubts that the change wouldn’t be beneficial.
Clinton believes that President Barack Obama’s plan to give up control of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the non-profit organization responsible for managing Web domains and IP standards, will enable foreign governments to crack down and limit Internet freedom.
“Governments that want to gag people and restrict access to the Internet” will be empowered by introducing a system of global oversight, Clinton said.
“I understand in theory why we would like to have a multi-stakeholder process,” Clinton explained. “I favor that. I just know that a lot of these so-called multi-stakeholders are really governments that want to gag people and restrict access to the Internet.”
Wales said that he was concerned that the decision will negatively impact Internet freedom and that he is very worried about it.