THE US WILL RETAIN CONTROL The ITU?EUR(TM)s Being Deferential

Published Date
12 - Apr - 2007
| Last Updated
12 - Apr - 2007
 
THE US WILL RETAIN CONTROL The ITU’s Being Deferential

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a US non-profit company that manages the top-level domain name addressing system. ICANN reports to the US Commerce Department, which has extended ICANN's control for at least three more years.
Opposition to this US control of the Internet comes from Brazil, Iran, Cuba, and a number of other poor or developing countries. There have been calls for an internationally-accountable body to take over the role of overseeing the Internet, and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a UN agency, is one of the few such bodies.
A "solution" is hardly in clear sight. Hamadoun Toure is the new head of the ITU , and he has said that he has no plans to take a bigger role in regulating and governing the Internet. The ITU stepping in could mean less US control. In a Reuters report, Toure said, "We must avoid setting up a superstructure which would be very controversial and very difficult to put into effect." The countries mentioned are likely not too happy with this pronouncement: a "superstructure" to oversee the Internet could be exactly what they're pitching for.
Toure said the ITU would instead focus on tackling cyber-security, and in narrowing the digital divide between rich and poor countries. Amongst Toure's other priorities are standards for broadband Internet access and for 3G mobile phone accessibility.
Analysts had foreseen that Internet control passing on to a body more global in nature would not happen any time soon, and Toure is just reinforcing that.
The world is divided in opinion-some countries such as Australia are perfectly fine with US control, but at the other end of the spectrum is Iran, which actually once expressed fears that the US could block Internet access in the country whenever it wanted to.


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