Franklin Graham decries America's handing over of internet's naming system

Evangelical leader Franklin Graham rejected the United States' plan of handing over government control on the Internet's naming system to a private organization as another wrong move.

Graham considered it a "shame," not "smart," and "dangerous" that President Barack Obama decided to give over the Domain Naming System (DNS) to the non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

(Reuters/Mal Langsdon)A lock icon, signifying an encrypted Internet connection, is seen on an Internet Explorer browser in a photo illustration in Paris April 15, 2014.

"This could potentially weaken our country and allow others access that could bring us harm," wrote Graham in a Facebook post last Friday.

The president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association asked the Congress why they allowed this decision and urged Republicans and Democrats alike to stop this transition from taking place on Oct. 1, 2016. Graham also asked the concerned Americans to make an appeal to their state representatives.

According to BBC News, an unnamed expert viewed the transition as ICANN getting "keys to the kingdom."

Other U.S. politicians also expressed fears that the transition would pave the way for intervention from the likes of China and Russia.

"The proposal will significantly increase the power of foreign governments over the Internet," wrote a letter from several Republican senators, including Sen. Ted Cruz.

National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the government's agency that controlled the DNS and would soon relinquish its control, said such foreign intervention would be "extremely remote."

"The community's new powers to challenge board decisions and enforce decisions in court protect against any one party or group of interests from inappropriately influencing Icann," said NTIA.

Prof. Alan Woodward from the University of Surrey considered this control shift as a "big change" but noted that the changes included "nothing to do with laws on the internet."

"This is more about who officially controls the foundations of the Internet/web addresses and domain names, without which the network wouldn't function," BBC News quoted Prof. Woodward as saying.

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