U.S. Retains De Facto Internet Governance

A last-minute agreement before the United Nations’ World Summit on the Information Society has left the U.S. Commerce Department in de facto control of the Internet’s master directories by creating a non-binding, open-ended international forum to address the issues.

The subject of the Internet’ governance had threated to overtake the original agenda of the international summit: addressing the expanding “digital divide” between the world’s rich and poor and plus expanding communications technologies, information, and knowledge to all parts of the world.

Instead, the United States ignited a firestorm of criticism when the U.S. Commerce Department reversed policy and declared it did not intend to cede ultimate veto power over the management of the Internet’s root servers to an international body. The Commerce Department indicated it would retain its “historic” role indefinitely, declaring the stability and reliability of the Internet as a matter of U.S. national security.

Other countries, particularly in Europe and Asia, reacted with indignation and sought to have an truly international body, such as the United Nations, put in ultimate control of the Internet’s root servers and master directories. However, as time ran out and the original goals of the summit threatened to be lost in the fracas, representatives from more than 100 countries agreed to let the U.S. retain its Internet governance role for the time being, passing the issue to a to-be-created, open ended international forum for significant Internet issues. Although the language of the agreement has not been finalized, the forum is not expected to have any binding authority. The agreement is to be ratified before the close of the summit November 18.

The Internet’s root servers and domain-management policies are managed by the International Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which operates quasi-independently and includes international members; however, the U.S. Commerce Department can (and has) overruled ICANN on matters of Internet governance it disagrees with, most recently the creation of a so-called “online red light district” in the form of a top-level domain (like .com or .net) for adult-oriented material and businesses.

The root servers act as master directories for the Internet: every time an Internet user attempts to access a site by name


Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.

Now’s your chance to get the latest iPad Pro for $100 less on Amazon

The latest iPad Pro has always been our favorite since its release last year, and we even tagged it as the best tablet ever. Don’t miss out on Amazon’s discount on the 12-inch 256GB Wi-Fi model and get yours today for $1,049.

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for August 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work, we have you covered. We've put together a list of the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.

Amazon cuts $52 off this Samsung Galaxy 10.1-inch tablet for the whole family

Normally priced at $330, you can grab the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1-inch 128GB Wi-Fi tablet now for only $278 and enjoy $52 savings. On top of that, Amazon is offering an extra $28 discount when you apply for a coupon during checkout.

Tired of choosing between Windows and Mac? Check out these Chromebooks instead

We've compiled a list of the best Chromebooks -- laptops that combine great battery life, comfortable keyboards, and the performance it takes to run Google's lightweight Chrome OS. From Samsung to Acer, these are the Chromebooks that really…

Tired of your Mac freezing? Try these tips to fix your Mac

A Mac that keeps freezing can be an incredibly annoying thing to deal with, but fixing it doesn’t have to be a pain. There are six main things you should try, which we got through in this guide to help you fix the issue once and for all.

1.5% of Chrome users’ passwords are known to be compromised, according to Google

In February, a new feature was introduced to the Google Chrome browser which checks whether users' passwords are secure. Now, Google has released eye-opening stats gathered from Password Checkup.

Here's our guide to how to charge your laptop using a USB-C cable

Charging via USB-C is a great way to power up your laptop. It only takes one cable and you can use the same one for data as well as power -- perfect for new devices with limited port options.

Latest Windows 10 update is causing random reboots and can break Visual Basic

The latest update for Windows 10, made available on Tuesday this week, includes patches against two critical vulnerabilities. But it is causing a string of issues including random reboots and failure to install.

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.

Enjoy your music on more devices: Here's how to convert FLAC to MP3

FLAC files sound awesome — that is, if your device can handle the lossless format. No matter your OS there's a converter for you. Here's how to convert FLAC to MP3, so you no longer have to worry about incompatibility issues.

Windows 10 can split and resize windows with ease. Here's how to do it

The window management features of Windows 10 can be particularly helpful for those who frequently multitask. Here's how to split your screen according to your workflow needs by using Snap Assist and other native tools.

Installing fonts in Windows 10 is quick and easy -- just follow these steps

Want to know how to install fonts in Windows 10? Here's our guide on two easy ways to get the job done, no matter how many you want to add to your existing catalog, plus instructions for deleting fonts.

Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what do you do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether via an email client or Windows 10.