A government-controlled Internet?

Scary news from a Financial Times article
about the upcoming UN World Summit on the Information Society.  As
feared, the event is being used to push for government control of the
Internet.  The failings of “non-governmental” ICANN in managing
the domain name system are being cited in support of this position.

“Critics argue that the Internet is a
public resource and should be managed by national governments at an
international level, by a body such as the International
Telecommunications Union. Defenders of the status quo, namely the
United States and the European Commission, claim that government
control could stifle the free flow of information and ideas. These
arguments seem to be losing ground to new challenges, such as spam,
privacy and security issues, hate speech and child pornography, which
may require international regulation and enforcement.”  (via Dewayne-Net)

A big reason for the chain of
events that led to ICANN being created was to prevent just this sort of
governmental takeover.  ICANN making a mess of things could have
been expected.  What surprises me is the pressure for government
control to respond to issues like spam and inappropriate content. 
Even in the US, there are an increasing number of voices in the private
sector making this argument.  I don’t think they understand the
Pandora’s Box they are opening up.