Category Archives: Internet Management

Challenging US Control of the Internet

The Wall Street Journal has a great article about how a growing number of countries (including China, Brazil, India and Cuba, as well as the European Union) are questioning U.S. control over the Internet.

The Internet is currently managed by a nonprofit private organization called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) which was set up by the U.S. Department of Commerce in 1998. However, the U.S. government retains veto power over all decisions (such as the creation of new Web domains). But now a number of countries argue that since the Internet is a global tool, no one country should control it.

Interestingly, the issue increased in importance last August over a new proposed domain for pornographic sites that Icann had tentatively approved several months earlier, but which ran into problems after the Department of Commerce withdrew its support. Although not necessarily taking issue with the outcome, the incident illustrated the unilateral control that the US Government could exert.

EU, Developing Nations Challenge U.S. Control of Internet (October 25, 2005)

Fight for Control of the Internet

There is a battle underway for control of the Internet. A shift in that control, should one occur, could result in the transfer of decision making on top-level domains, spam control, consumer protection and maintenance of the Internet root servers. One idea being considered is to merge ICANN into the International Telecommunication Union. There are hints that a transfer to an international body could even include the levying of taxes on e-mail and domain names.
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