TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: EU Welcomes Auomony Plan for Internet Governance

EU Welcomes Auomony Plan for Internet Governance

Reuters News Wire (
Mon, 02 Oct 2006 11:52:17 -0500

The European Commission welcomed on Monday U.S. government moves to
make the company that manages Internet domain names independent by
2009, but said it would monitor the process carefully.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which
controls addresses including ".com" and country domain names such as
".cn" for China, now reports to the U.S. Commerce Department.

On Friday, the Commerce Department said it would retain oversight for
three more years, renewing an agreement that was scheduled to expire
last weekend.

But a lighter regime was introduced, with ICANN no longer having to
file reports with the Commerce Department every six months or having
its work prescribed for it, the European Commission said.

"A new and final chapter opened this weekend. We welcome that ICANN
will be set free in a process over the next three years," Commission
spokesman Martin Selmayr told a news briefing.

The Commission criticized ICANN's decision this year to reject a new
.xxx Internet domain for pornography sites, saying that was U.S.
political interference in the Web's governance.

The United States has fought off attempts to wrest control of the
domain-name system from the Commerce Department.

U.S. control of ICANN had become a sticking point for countries such
as Iran and Brazil, which argued it should be managed by the United
Nations or another global body.

The United States argued that such a body would stifle innovation with
red tape.

"The European Commission will follow closely ICANN's transition to
full independence in the next three years," EU Information Society and
Media Commissioner Viviane Reding said in a statement.

"With our advice, we will contribute to this transition to ensure that
it takes place transparently, reflecting the interests of industry and
civil society alike," Reding said.

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

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