/// Global Internet Bodies Turn Their Backs on U.S. Oversight

October 11, 2013  |  All Things Digital


A batch of the Internet’s oversight bodies have taken a strong stand against the long-term dominance by the U.S. in governing the operation of the Internet. At a meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay, the heads of ICANN, the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet Architecture Board, the World Wide Web Consortium and the Internet Society, backed by the heads of the regional registrars for global top-level domains, issued a statement calling for the “acceleration of the globalization” of the functions carried out by ICANN and IANA. The move is being seen more or less as a rejection of the current arrangement in which the day-to-day operations of the Internet’s underlying infrastructure have been supervised by the U.S. Department of Commerce . The arrangement was last extended in 2006. In the long term, this could turn out to be kind of a big deal, and it’s taking place against the backdrop of all the revelations about spying on the Internet by the U.S. National Security Agency based on revelations of documents leaked by Edward Snowden. But there’s more to it than that. The decision a few years back to allow for the creation of an essentially unlimited pool of top-level domains has been criticized around the world as primarily benefitting businesses, most of them U.S.-based. Writing for the Internet Governance Project , Milton Mueller, a Syracuse University professor , argued that the jarring rejection of the current scheme will likely result in a big administrative mess down the road, as the U.S. could have overseen a smoother transition to a global authority. Mueller has long argued that what’s needed in place of the current scheme is a set of international agreements governing how ICANN operates. “We have been urging the USG to end its privileged role and complete the privatization of the DNS management for nearly ten years

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Global Internet Bodies Turn Their Backs on U.S. Oversight


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