EU demands major ICANN role

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

Chicago (IL) - A senior European Union official has demanded that the Obama administration relinquish its control over the Internet.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which operates under the auspices of the US Commerce Department, is tasked with regulating critical aspects of the Internet - including the assignment of domain names.

The current arrangement is expected to end in September 2009.

"I trust that President Obama will have the courage, the wisdom and the respect for the global nature of the Internet to pave the way in September for a new, more accountable, more transparent, more democratic and more multilateral form of Internet governance," said EU Commissioner Viviane Reding.

Reding explained that the US should allow monitoring by an independent legal authority, along with a group of 12 nations that would discuss online governance and security. The envisioned quorum of 12 would reportedly include representatives from North America, South America, Europe and Africa, Asia and Australia.

"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," added Reding.