The European Union is asking that the U.S. cede control of the Internet over to an international body. Citing that the Internet is being used by millions world wide, the EU feels that this would be a fair approach to the issue of who has control of the net. In a recent article at the Silicon Valley web site of The Mercury News it also states that:
An agreement that gave the U.S. Commerce Department control over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, expires Sept. 30. The nonprofit company was created in 1998 to oversee computer servers that manage databases of domain names, which are suffixes of Web sites such as “.com.”
“It is not defendable that the government department of only one country has oversight of an Internet function which is used by hundreds of millions of people in countries all over the world,” Reding said Monday in Brussels.
The 27-member European Union has called on the U.S. government to ensure more transparency in how the Internet is run. Reding said ICANN should be fully privatized when the agreement expires. An advisory panel to ICANN said in a February report the U.S. should consider establishing an organization independent of the government to oversee the Internet.
“We hope all stakeholders will share their views in this proceeding, as we believe that ICANN can only succeed if it enjoys the confidence of the community it serves,” Mark Tolbert, a U.S. Commerce Department spokesman, said in an e-mail.
The U.S. has come under pressure from other nations to adapt Internet governance as countries seek to manage their domain names, such as .fr, .uk and. eu. Nations have also said the current structure creates security issues, particularly after Estonia’s Web sites were attacked by hackers in May 2007 amid a diplomatic clash with Russia over a war memorial.
I personally believe that this is a great idea to share the burden of controlling the Internet. At the same time we should get the EU to house the United Nations as well. The U.S. has gotten stuck with that bill and its time to share the joy.