Internet Freedoms

Standing left to right – Mr. Dinesh Jebamani (Chief Manager Liability Product Management and New Age Media – Seylan Bank), Mr.Sudesh Peiris (Senior Manager – Digital Banking Channels – Seylan Bank), Ms. S.Senevirathne (Representative of the Revenue Department – Western Province), Mr. Tilan Wijeyesekera (Deputy General Manager – Retail Banking – Seylan Bank) and Mr. Malik Wickremanayaka (Deputy General Manager – Operations – Seylan Bank)

WASHINGTON, April 6, 2014 (AFP) – It could be a difficult breakup between the US government and the Internet. A plan unveiled last month would see the US relinquish its key oversight role for the Internet, handing that over to “the global multistakeholder community.”

US officials say the move is part of a longstanding effort to privatize the technical oversight of the Internet.

But it comes amid growing international pressure for Washington to step back from what some countries claim is a dominant role in the Internet.

Tensions have been exacerbated by the outcry over leaked documents showing the National Security Agency’s vast surveillance capabilities, feeding concern that the US manipulates the Internet for its own purposes.

Some critics argue, however, that Washington is “giving away” the Internet, posing long-term threats to online freedom and commerce.

Representative Marsha Blackburn contends that the US shift “will allow countries like China and Russia, that don’t place the same value in freedom of speech, to better define how the Internet looks and operates.”

Some observers