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Wresting Control from the US

In Economic Justice, International politics, International Trade, Laws & Regulation, US Politics on June 23, 2006 at 7:49 pm

On other internet-related news, there continues to be rumblings that ICANN, which currently is the US-controlled body that governs the internet, may have to cede some or even all of its power to a UN body. The UN Working Group on Internet Governance has laid out four options for the future governance of the internet:

 

 

Option One – create a UN body known as the Global Internet Council that draws its members from governments and "other stakeholders" and takes over the US oversight role of Icann.

Option Two – no changes apart from strengthening Icann's Governmental Advisory Committee to become a forum for official debate on net issues.

Option Three – relegate Icann to a narrow technical role and set up an International Internet Council that sits outside the UN. US loses oversight of Icann.

Option Four – create three new bodies. One to take over from Icann and look after the net's addressing system. One to be a debating chamber for governments, businesses and the public; and one to co-ordinate work on "internet-related public policy issues".

The UN Working Group recently set up a 46 member advisory group, that is one step in wresting sole control away from the US. The advisory group:

 

 

compris[es] representatives of government, the private sector, academia, technical experts and civil society, to help determine how it should be run. According to one member of the advisory group, Chris Disspain, CEO of Australia's Internet domain administrator, auDA, creation of the forum "marks a great opportunity for all the Internet's stakeholders from around the world to have a say on issues of Internet governance". According to Disspain, "The Internet works well at a technical level…However, there are many non-technical aspects of Internet governance that would benefit from multi-stakeholder input at an international level."

 

One ultra-conservative observer describes this battle for the governance of the cyber-commons by stating that if the UN is able to gain control of the internet from the United States, the international body will, "place it under the 'unbiased' control of China, Sudan, and Cuba." There is some serious outreach and public education that needs to be done on this issue.

This fight can not be placed in terms too grandiose. We must maintain Net Neutrality and urge for the overall governance of the internet be moved from the US to an accountable, transparent, democratic body.

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  1. […] Wresting Control from the US On other internet-related news, there continues to be rumblings that ICANN, which currently is the US-controlled body that governs the internet, may have to cede some or even all of its power to a UN body. The UN Working Group on Internet Governance has laid out four options for the future governance of the internet: […]

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