back to article We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie

Europe’s digital chief Neelie Kroes will reiterate her commitment to “international governance of the internet” later today – that’s code for a smaller role for the US. The European Commissioner will represent the EU at the ninth Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Istanbul, Turkey, next week and will push for a more “global …

  1. Ross K

    Kroes will want answers about proposed domain rights for the new and top level domains (TLDs)

    I call bags on the domain.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Oh hell yes upvoted!

  2. Ole Juul

    More talk about less talk.

    The US has recently asserted their control over the .com .org and .net domains in several court cases. So I don't see ICANN's role changing much. There are also agreements in place which guarantee continued US government involvement. Making changes to that aspect of the internet is just going to be more talk.

    As it stands now, the way the US is controlling the net doesn't seem so bad. I'm certainly no fan of the US, but in this case it's certainly better than some alternatives - at least in actual practice. US dominance of the net is another story. I don't see that changing until we all start learning Chinese. In other words, not for a while yet.

    1. Saint Gerbil

      Re: More talk about less talk.

      We need to change the importance of .com .org and .net.

      We need one that europe can use I propose .exe .vbs and .bat

    2. Maty

      Re: More talk about less talk.

      'As it stands now, the way the US is controlling the net doesn't seem so bad.'

      Indeed. I really can't understand why people don't trust the US to run things fairly and impartially. Whatever was that Snowden fellow going on about, anyway?

      1. Ole Juul

        Re: More talk about less talk.

        The reason it doesn't seem so bad is that no viable alternative has been suggested. If I saw something good on the horizon, I'd get behind that. The UN is US controlled, and the ITU is UN controlled. Besides the ITU is beholden to the telcos and not the people. With things like the "affirmation of commitment" between the US Dept of Commerce and ICANN, there doesn't seem much hope for that aspect of the net to change in the immediate future. Any (realistic) suggestions?

        The "Snowden thing" is another issue. I think we can do something about those problems.

    3. Yes Me Silver badge

      Please justify your statements with facts

      "The US has recently asserted their control over the .com .org and .net domains in several court cases."

      Can you please give specific citations to prove this statement?

      "So I don't see ICANN's role changing much."

      Since NTIA has specifically said that it wants to drop its existing contract with ICANN next year, there is certainly a good chance of significant change in ICANN's chain of accountability. And its role is mainly independent of its agreement with NTIA anyway.

      "There are also agreements in place which guarantee continued US government involvement."

      Again, please give specific citations.

  3. Sarev

    Can I have that job?

    I quite like the idea of being well-paid to sit and talk about how we can talk less. Even better would be to be well-paid to pretend to listen to people talking about talking less while "taking notes" (doing my own thing) on a laptop. Three jollies per year to all kinds of interesting locations. I'd subcontract the actual, mundane, talking notes and "doing stuff" to my lovely and well-paid assistant, of course.

    1. majorursa

      Re: Can I have that job?

      If that was all she did she wouldn't scare the hell out of M$ and Google.

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Can I have that job?

      Have you ever actually been in those kinds of meetings! Dear god man, if you love life at all, don't go there!

  4. Steve Knox

    One of the European Commission’s targets at the IGF is to move it on from being “a mere talking shop”.

    “The time is ripe to produce outcome documents, such as policy recommendations for voluntary adoption,” said a Commission source.

    So rather than making statements that nobody pays attention to, they'll be producing documents that nobody pays attention to. PROGRESS!

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

      @ Steve Knox

      You seem to say that sarcastically, but 100 dead trees can't be wrong!!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The only thing worse than US control of the Internet is... any other arrangement. Especially one that lets the Eurocrats get their greedy paws on it.

    1. Cipher


      Has anyone stated exactly what the problem is now, and what this nebulous proposed shift would do better?

      Didn't think so...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Specifics?

        That's a nice domain name you've got there.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not specific enough

    Not so much "less USA" as "less NSA".

    1. Flatpackhamster

      Re: Not specific enough

      Indeed, because nobody else is spying on their citizens, and not the sainted, blessed EU so beloved of some Reg readers:

      1. Polyphonic

        Re: Not specific enough

        The last organization I would want involved with policing the internet would be the EU. They would make the soviet censors look open minded.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Universal law

    Amount of progress is inversely proportional to the size of the committee.

    And when the committee is composed of politicians there effect is cubed.

    So lets move forward with this and the Continental drift will look like a drag race compared to how quickly anything happens.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get your own toys

    If they want control of something, then they are more than welcome to make their own network. Typical government bs, they didn't create it, they didn't foster the environment it was made in and they largely ignored it until they smelled money. Bugger off.

    1. Tanuki

      Re: Get your own toys

      Aren't the EU trying to do it with their "Galileo" GPS-alike, which project seems to be going oh-so-well?

      [I guess their satellites just want to break free?]

    2. HMB

      Re: Get your own toys

      Well at least in theory, governments are supposed to represent their people. Are you saying that the majority of users of the internet (i.e. not US citizens) don't deserve a say in how they use it?

      I sympathise that governments often do a crap job of meddling, but what else are you suggesting, anarchy?

      The U.S. has done a wonderful job of creating the internet. CERN (Centre for European Nuclear Research) has done a wonderful job of creating the world wide web.

      It's time to grow up and share your toys boys.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Get your own toys

        The problem with sharing is that it assumes both of the parties involved will at least somewhat cooperatively which certainly isn't the case in practice. Time and again we see the bad actors maneuvering to the bodies which, in theory, are critical of those state's bad acts. Rights bodies being the case on point. I would expect no less than seeing China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and all of their cohort plopping down on whatever regulatory body arises to "manage" the internet.

        This completely discounts those that would want to plop down to get an revenue source from the 'net to fund all of their activities.

    3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Get your own toys

      "If they want control of something, then they are more than welcome to make their own network."

      The network is already autonomous - it's the DNS that the US control - though if they did something really mad, a split could be made - the infrastructure is already in place [non-US run root servers all over the world] - the sticking point would be to get everyone to stop using the US root-servers, which you may argue is a virtual administrative impossibility.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just wait...

    ...until the Euro pissfest begins and everything goes down the toilet.

  10. Caesarius


    "Last March, the US announced that it would work towards a multi-stakeholder model of governance by autumn next year."

    "The Commission will also want to talk about future funding for the IGF secretariat, whose mandate runs out in 2015 and which relies on voluntary funding."

    Let's review this in, say, ten months. No? You won't exist then? Pity.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can see this taking a very very long time to change and get right. We have institutions like NATO and WHO that bring together a reasonable number of countries with a common agenda but I can't think of anything where there is world wide ownership (or I suppose more accurately governance) which is what the Internet needs.

    It's interesting because if they can find a model that works something similar could be applied to other world wide issues like climate change and mercury pollution. At the end of the day we're going to have to do something about all of these problems so getting the model right with something people care about is a good place to start.

    I know this is a seriously radical idea but one way to tackle this issue might be to build a massive floating island that is kept out in the middle of the ocean. I can see one of the biggest sticking points being where the governing body is based and putting it on neutral ground would be a good start. Failing that stick in in Belgium ;-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I can see this taking a very very long time to change and get right."


      I can see this taking a very very long time to change and get right...again.

      If things weren't right enough, we wouldn't be having this debate.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Naw, the solution is easy. An AI internet which will handle its own governance. Just don't piss it off!

      1. ecofeco Silver badge


        Naw, the solution is easy. An AI internet which will handle its own governance. Just don't piss it off!

        No joke, it's already happening.

        Robo Brain Project Wants To Turn the Internet into a Robotic Hivemind

  12. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    The creation of new TLDs is becoming silly, and is obviously just a money-making scheme. If we need a .wine TLD, then we will no doubt also be needing a .beer domain, .tea, .coffee - and while we're at it how about a .burger and .kebab TLD as well? Obviously the major retailers and producers of those commodities will feel they have to buy a domain or lose market share, and so instant money for almost zero work for the TLD administration organisation.

  13. Guus Leeuw

    Dear Sir,

    would you care to dig out which actors are pushing those radical changes, and which radical changes these are?

    I would like to propose radical changes to the way acting is performed as well. Less of the multi-million dollar payouts (so that I can go to the cinema for a fiver rather than a tenner) and more time spent in class while not acting (so as to keep these people off the streets). I have no notion whatsoever about acting. I am assuming that actors have no notion about governance of the world wide web or internet.



  14. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    And of course more global governance of the internet would require more Eurocrats....

    Funny how that happens!

  15. alwarming
    Paris Hilton

    Didn't they need more U.S in WW-II ?

    Then why do the want less U.S in WW-W ???

    Paris, coz she probably wants more \W/

    1. IanTP

      Re: Didn't they need more U.S in WW-II ?

      Lets not forget on how unforgivably late the US were to WW1 and WW2 ;)

      Beer because i'm really enjoying this Tribute, a cornish pale ale.

  16. chuckufarley

    It needs to be asked...

    "However, the American reps also said they were happy with ICANN’s accountability levels."

    Accountability? To whom? Certainly not the people of the U.S.A. much less the average internet user.

  17. lsatenstein

    Now expect all the religions to hop on board

    can we see:

    .hebrew .buddah, .hindu .muslim .christian .agnostic .athiest and a whole bunch of other religions hopping onboard as domains?

    Or when it was stated .wind or .vin, how about .auto .tourism and .freeforall

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