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back to article EU urges US to drop ICANN

Obama should hand over control of ICANN so it can be overseen by an independent international tribunal, EU Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding said today. In her weekly address, Reding said the change of administration in Washington, DC offered renewed hope of a privatized ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned …

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G-12 of Internet Governance

Yeah because everyone knows that government-controlled international technical forums never get bush whacked for political gain....

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Great

Can't wait to see how efficient this is not going to be. What next -- move the prime meridian because some activist in the 3rd world finds it personally insulting for it to be in the UK?

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Dead Vulture

If the EU invented...

If the EU invented The Internet, then they could do what they wanted with it.

Other telephony providers across the world (U.S. and other nations) decided independently to connect to it, they always have the option to abandon integration and build their own.

Since the US invented The Internet, they have guided it to world wide integration, availability, an redundancy, I don't see why they should be called to abandon their administrative guidance and control. They have a good track record.

I have yet to see a good & cohesive argument why the U.S. should abandon it's traditional role.

Would a body with a rotating head be better, when China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Argentina run it for a half-decade in a row?

I don't think so, with their track record on taking over private companies by edict, imprisoning people for freedom of speech violations, aggressive censorship, and terrible human rights violations to their own citizens (who is to think the behavior will not be attempted to spread beyond their own borders when in control of the cross-border Internet?)

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Anonymous Coward

The NET is not safe in EU MEPs hands!

Reding and the European Parliament have a big chance to prove that Internet goverance would be safe in European hands by voting for the Citizens Amendments in the EU Telecoms Package on May 6th -12noon. This is to counteract the recitals which support net discrimination and graduated response in the badly titled Univerrsal Service and Users Rights Directive.

These clauses have crept into the package following lobbying from AT&T and poor advice from UK gov officials who have deemed Internet access to be the same as a mobile phone or cable TV service.

Contact your MEP. Support for the Citizens amendments are the last chance we have to preserve our neutral access to the Digital Commons.

Reding has been a powerful consumer advocate, but on this matter, the lack of scrutiny on the acivities of individual MEPs demonstrates the lack of accountability of individual MEPs to the democratic wishes of the people.

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This could go badly

Regardless of EU wishes, let's hope that the transition of ICANN to something more appropriate goes relatively smoothly. Unfortunately the USA does not have a good record when it comes to cooperation.

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What could possibly go wrong?

'Among her proposals for a fully privatized ICANN is for the organization to be overseen by an independent international forum, as well as a "G-12 for internet governance" '

Ah. Run by politicians and civil servants in other words.

So, mired in international political infighting, no advances of any note will be made in the structure of the internet for the rest of eternity then. Small, urgent changes that nobody could possibly object to will take place in a timeframe measured in decades.

This is without a doubt the dumbest proposal in the entire history of technological innovation and, as a strategy, is probably on a par with pulling wires out at random as regards ensuring the smooth operation of the internet.

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Might as well let the EU or UN take it over

Obviously some government or government-like agency needs to oversee ICANN -- they have not been very responsive to the needs of internet users.

People are trying to do commerce on the internet, exchange academic ideas, and have reliable trustworthy secure 2-way communication.

ICANN has done nothing to support this in the areas of registration or security.

It isn't as if ICANN pays for the internet or physically built it or anything. They just sit there and preempt any other agency ending the insecure anarchy that is the current internet.

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about time too

We can't have this being hijacked by the usa government - this should be fairly available for everyone; you can't have some country's DNS pulled just because the USA has decided to start a war with it this week.

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Trust

I wouldn't trust the unelected and unaccountable Eurocrats with tin cans and a piece of string, let alone the Internet. European governments tried building their own (like Minicom), the US built another - guess which one worked? Now, why take the successful network away from the guys who built it and hand control to the guys who have already failed at least once? Absurd.

Alain Williams has an unusual perspective, apparently thinking it's the creators who would be "hijacking" their own creation by keeping the status quo, rather than applying that label to this irrational EU power-grab. Right now, the Internet *IS* fairly available for everyone - but the EU seeks to change that and seize control. Unacceptable.

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Anonymous Coward

Whatever happens ...

... don't let the British Government anywhere near it.

Seriously.

That should rule out the G12 and EU.

And UN.

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If I remember correctly...

ICANN has authority over the DNS system which allows people to access computers using domain names rather than IP addresses, nothing more. It's hardly like it's in control of the Internet- it's barely got any sort of say over the WWW.

So can't we, you know, create a European or Worldwide version of DNS? Done properly it could even tie in with the US version so that the EU didn't lose access to the wealth of data stored in the US. It's not as if ICANN would have any authority or power to stop us doing it.

Equally, I really hope that it doesn't happen as it'd end up bogged down in years of beaurocracy and would probably still never get round to approving the .xxx top level domain.

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"If the EU invented The Internet"

Anonymous Coward wrote "If the EU invented The Internet, then they could do what they wanted with it...they have guided it to world wide integration"

And maybe, since Marconi invented radio, all spectrum allocation should be decided by Italy?

"The internet" became significant only when Berners-Lee invented the browser, so maybe ICANN should move to Switzerland?

As for world-wide integration, they still can't even handle non-ASCII domain names.

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Pirate

@If the EU invented...

If the EU invented...

By Anonymous Coward Posted Tuesday 5th May 2009 04:48 GMT

it was written:

"Would a body with a rotating head be better, when China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Argentina run it for a half-decade in a row?

I don't think so, with their track record on taking over private companies by edict, "

indeed, for example: the nationalization of banks - what a shame! When China took over the control of the major Chinese lending company - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - all the free world stand up to fight for the rights of the freedom of enterprise.

Foxnews broadcasted live the horror of Mao's red guards crushing

in blood the attempt of one of the last free newspaper

"the [Great] Wall Street [of China]"

which tried to react against management getting

huge bonus while taxpayers picks up the bill

".. imprisoning people for freedom of speech violations, aggressive censorship, and terrible human rights violations to their own citizens (who is to think the behavior will not be attempted to spread beyond their own borders when in control of the cross-border Internet?)"

Indeed... the shame of Cuba holding in the black hole of Guantanamo hundreds of prisoners without habeas corpus, some time also tortured according to instructions received by top

official of Castro government...

... in Iran it is even dangerous to have specific book, as a search on the register can show having a copy of the "Anarchist Cookbook" can lead you into trouble (if you do this search then do not forget to use instead of Iran the special search code "UK" - it is a bug of the search engine)

etc.. etc...

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Anonymous Coward

@ Mike Shepherd

Marconi did not invent radio. Tesla did.

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Pirate

... and let the UN run ICANN?

I think not. The UN is inept at everything... and I mean everything... The UN has done nothing but cause more trouble in the world than what is already there. The UN is a place for corrupt politicians to profit from their own corrupt ideals.

The EU would be just as inept as the UN...

The fact is that getting a conglomeration of countries to do anything useful is like trying to get a classroom of 5 year old's to agree on what to have for snack.

It would be best for ICANN to be run by a non-biased organization, but I challenge you to give me the name of a non-biased organization anywhere in the world. It can't be done. Leave it with the US, who has at least shepherded it to the level that it is now.

There is freedom on the Internet. The EU or the UN would not promise that to continue.

Can you imagine if the EU or the UN had control over the Internet? Talk about political correctness gone amuck.

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What on Earth are they Playing at? Have they taken Leave of their Senses?

It will be interesting to see if anything is done, by anyone thinking to be Party to any Internetional Body Policing/Maintaining/Improving the World Wide Web of Communications, about the current subjective/arbitrary Google/Infowars, handbags at dawn catfight ...... http://www.infowars.com/you-tube-in-egregious-censorship-of-alex-jones-channel/

It is a very quick journey to nowhere good and profitable once you are known to be a puppet and vulnerable to alternate truths rather than immune to them ........ for Competent Analysts, some of whom may be Malicious and/or Paid to be Malicious, will immediately zero in to note/exploit the revealed Achilles Heel.

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If you take radio as an example -

It doesn't matter who "invented" radio, all the major decisions have been made by international conferences for about a century now. Local administrations administer local differences, where these arise, the main concern being to encourage interoperability.

Why not a similar structure for the net? No-one is better qualified to decide, say, the way in which Chinese characters were to be used in web addresses than China's tech elite, so why the hell should that decision be made by an American?

I'm not happy with the idea of the EU - or, God forbid, something like Wacky Jacqui - taking over, but I'm also not keen on the whole darn thing being administered by a foreign private company. It should be done honestly, out in the open, by internationally agreed convention.

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What's the problem here?

When the Russians and Chinese got fed up waiting for ICANN to pull its finger out on non-ASCII domain names, they just went ahead and did something amongst themselves.

ICANN has no meaningful authority. It continues to exist because even the Russians and Chinese can see the usefulness of having a single registration point for the zillions of magic numbers that appear in internet protocols.

A country that wanted to run a .sex TLD could set up a nameserver tomorrow. It wouldn't have the root servers pointing at at, but those that wanted to use it would have little trouble in doing so. For another case in point, there are millions of nameservers for the .local TLD currently running all over the planet. As far as I can tell, it was Apple's idea and they just went and did it. I don't think ICANN were ever asked to reserve it.

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