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The United States may have mostly invented the technology that founded the Internet, but today only about one in five Internet users is an American. That would seem to make international control of the Internet an obvious goal, and until recently that was the plan. But the U.S. just reversed itself and declared that it alone would retain control over the root servers that control Internet traffic. Wired News calls it “logic not very different from that which inspired the Monroe Doctrine.”

Michael D. Gallagher, assistant secretary for communications and information at the Commerce Department, shied away from terming the declaration a reversal, calling it instead “the foundation of U.S. policy going forward.”

“The signals and words and intentions and policies need to be clear so all of us benefiting in the world from the internet and in the U.S. economy can have confidence there will be continued stewardship,” Gallagher told The Associated Press on Thursday.

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