A battle is looming with increasing probability of the US being isolated as regards to who controls the internet. As of now, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), under the province of the Department of Commerce governs the technical rules for how networks and computers find and recognize each other can determine how freely and securely information moves around. This contract expires next year.
Several countries around the world want the international community to take over the governing of the internet. Of course, the US claims that some of these countries (the most vocal of which are Iran, China, Saudi Arabia and Brazil) will use their powers to censor access to information.
Interestingly, even though the commerce department is supposed to oversee ICANN, it does not interfere with its workings, adopting the position that government should be involved with Internet governance as little as possible...from the Washington Post article...
- To date, it has not overruled any ICANN decisions.