May 6, 2009
The European Commission wants the US to dissolve all government links with the body that ‘governs’ the internet, replacing it with an international forum for discussing internet governance and online security.The rules and decisions on key internet governance issues, such as the creation of top level domains (such as .com and .eu) and managing the internet address system that ensures computers can connect to each other, are currently made by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a private, not-for profit corporation based in California which operates under an agreement with the US Department of Commerce.
The decisions made by ICANN affect the way the internet works all around the world.
EU information society commissioner Viviane Reding on Monday (4 May) suggested a new model for overseeing the internet from October this year, when the Commerce Department agreement runs out.
She called on US President Barack Obama to fully privatise ICANN and set up an independent judicial body, described as a “G12 for internet governance,” which she described as a “multilateral forum for governments to discuss general internet governance policy and security issues.”