That verdict is still out, and will probably be out for a while. I've always tried to remain neutral on matters of politics and government, but now, the change promises to dramatically affect the Internet we all know and love. Some will be delighted and some will be devastated.
In a low buzz Friday, a number of news sources began bantering President-elect Obama's latest transition team announcements as "good news." Taking a neutral point of view however, one must ask is this really good news, or could it be really bad news candy-coated by an Obama-intoxicated media?
The announcement that Susan Crawford, a former board member of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), will lead the Obama-Biden transition team's review of the FCC will undoubtedly raise a few concerns. Crawford's appointment comes as no surprise since she's a known Net Neutrality advocate -- as is Obama. But it doesn't stop there.
Those who have actually followed internet security issues, without rose-colored glasses, will probably see a reason to ask questions. ICANN (the organization responsible for the allocation of IP addresses on the internet and has oversight over domain registrars) has recently come under intense fire by the anti-spam community for alleged complicity with online cyber and organized crime. By ignoring rogue registrars and allowing criminal spam cartels to kite millions of domain addresses with forged credentials, ICANN seems to be shirking their responsibility to administrate their own policies. We have no idea of Crawford's knowledge of this, but must assume her awareness as a prior board member of ICANN. We can only hope she'll bring these issues to the Obama tech strategy table.
Since cybercrime damaged U.S. citizens to the tune of 9-billion dollars last year, (FTC) we found it amazing that neither Obama or Mccain mentioned the threat in any of their campaign rhetoric. We'll see what kind of change affects this situation.
What should probably be of more concern is the issue of Net Neutrality. We haven't heard much from it recently in the press, but don't think for a moment that the issue has gone away. With the upcoming neutrality-friendly administration in Washington, we can predict that Net Neutrality will come back with a vengeance.
You can see much of my coverage of Net Neutrality back in '04 when it was hot, in the UGN Net Safety columns. (UGN) I guess I'll be bringing that back into my front-burner watch file.
Also, see these links to follow the story:
* Net Neutrality Advocates In Charge Of Obama Team Review of FCC
* Podcasts: 2008 Tech Policy Summit
* Obama's first YouTube radio address: Web advocate leading FCC-review transition team
Thanks for reading...
Fred Showker, Editor, Graphic Design & Publishing