EU wants shared control of the Internet

US rejects proposed plans, setting stage for showdown at UN conference in Tunisia.
Written by ZDNet UK, Contributor on
The US and the EU are headed for a showdown over future control of the Internet, if recent statements at a UN meeting are any indication. Noting that "the Internet is a global resource," EU spokesman Martin Selmayr called for a new cooperation model, AP reported. "The EU ... is very firm on this position," he said.

Meanwhile, a senior U.S. official reiterated Thursday that the country wants to remain the Internet's ultimate authority, AP reported.

According to Macworld UK:

The proposal calls for a new forum to address policy issues at a global level but not to perform oversight tasks, and also for a new cooperation model to manage global allocation of IP number blocks, procedures for changing the root file system and rules for the DNS (domain name system), among other things.

The proposal also calls for the role of government in the new cooperation model to be "mainly focused on principle issues of public policy, excluding any involvement in the day-to-day operations" and for the new model to build on "existing mechanisms or institutions" rather them replace them.

The new model could change or do away with ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. In a terse, handwritten note, US negotiators said, that the US will take no action that would "adversely impact the security or stability" of the DNS and will maintain its "historic role" in authorizing changes to the root zone file, according to Macworld UK.

The US ambassador to the meeting, David Gross, said: ""We will not agree to the UN taking over the management of the Internet. Some countries want that. We think that's unacceptable."

The EU's Selmayr said, ""We think it's not for governments to control the Internet. We need more involvement of the private sector and the current workings of ICANN are very efficient but we need a new model of international cooperation."


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