It's probably alarmist, though well worth keeping an eye on. This is causing very small populations at the bottom of the food web and will almost certainly ripple upward. There is some chatter that it's due to global warming and a recent study (which I haven't tracked down) believes the effect to be long term.
Article about the Department of Commerce refusing to renew ICANN's charter.
Basically, the root servers which make DNS (the service which translates URLs to IP addresses) work will probably be reclaimed by the US Department of Commerce in September 2006. Because the internet is now an international thing, Europeans are relatively upset and have been proposing their own plans. None of which are any better than the same move, but excluding the US and including the rest of the world.
On the plus side: There's always OpenNIC.
On the down side: DNS registration as run by OpenNIC is extremely lucrative. Chances are that someone appropriately opportunistic and money grubbing will seize the opportunity and a more reasonable system (like OpenNIC's) will be overlooked as a result.