back to article EC calls for one world internet governance

The European Commission is once again calling for the United States to let go of ICANN and place it under international supervision. Echoing an earlier appeal from EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, Viviane Reding, the Commission said in a statement today that future internet governance "should reflect the key …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Eric 16
    Thumb Down

    absolutely fucking not

    The EC has proven time and again it has no clue about anything technology related. Under no circumstance should they be allowed to get their hands on anything related to the core of the internet.

  2. lifelesspoet

    This is kinda stupid

    The US is a sinking ship economically. They no longer make goods or have vast natural resources in which to rely. They export only movies, music and technology. These three things are very readily available either by internet piracy or cheap chinese copies. The government at least has indirect control over the most economically successful technology in existence.

    Label me a liberal, but I'd rather have the internet regulated by those that favor free speech over public safety. Extremists are much better out in the open where they can be monitored and investigated.

  3. Inachu
    Thumb Up

    Bad idea

    I will not a body of governance telling me that I am not allowed to play a multiplayer game connecting to another country. Nobody has that right unless the game developers design it into their TOS.

    Where I go on the internet and what I read or see is my business and nobody elses.

  4. Mike 61

    OLD Military network

    The US should give oversight to one of its old military networks to the international community why?? Because everyone is now using it everywhere? Not good enough. I personally think it should all go back to the NSF, at least their prices were acceptable. Lets face it, the mains of the internet will always live in the US and if you want to do something about it I suggest disconnecting from it and building out your own.

    flame on.

  5. James Butler

    What are the issues?

    Can anyone articulate what the problem is or has been with ICANN from the EC's perspective? The only thing I can think of is the occasional complaint that something isn't happening fast enough, a condition which surely would be exacerbated by making oversight an international project. When the EC acknowledges that under their plan, day-to-day operations would essentially remain unchanged, their request for a finger in the pie starts to sound like fear of something rather than an operational concern. Like a fear that the "Americans" will do something to spit in the face of the rest of the world, just for the hell of it. (I can certainly not see any reason why such an event would transpire.) And besides, it's not like any of the activites ICANN engages in has any immediate or dramatic effect on the network ... they are just managing naming issues. It's not even a technical thing. If ICANN got federalized this afternoon and ordered to keep all foreigners out, it would have no impact on the functioning of the Internet, whatsoever.


    (And by that I mean, serious, technical thoughts, not America-bashing and FUD.)

  6. HarryCambs
    Thumb Up

    At last someone to keep a lid on them

    One word: cybersquatting

    ICANN not only allows them but also active encourage cybersquating, it is quite a substantial part of their income and they can get away with their self regulating rules.

  7. Chronos


    For once, I am wholly on the side of the Americans. Leave the bloody thing alone! ICANN and the US have done a sterling job of running the Internet's infrastructure (DNS, IP allocation etc) in a "hands-off" manner with the RIRs for ages and long may it continue.

    Let the EU stick it's bloody bureaucratic noses in and it'll be task groups for this, committees for that, nothing will ever be decided and the whole thing will grind to a satisfying (for the EU, natch) stop. Far better to have a single point of contact capable of unilateral decisions in matters technical run by technical people than introduce politics and apply the ideas of broken democracy to something that just needs to bloody well work. Take signing the root zone as an example: Do you really think that would have been decided within months (OK, years) with a load of half-wit politicians from the EU having a say? We'd still be stalled over the signing algorithm while the EU tries to get the actual work pulled from Verisign/ICANN and awarded to an EU puppet organisation hampered by "oversight" meaning nothing would ever get done without EU approval.

    Didn't we go through this shit before? Perhaps they think the number of AOLers who have crept into ISPs' upper echelons has reached the level where only they need to be duped to get majority support. That's the only explanation I can come up with.

  8. Christopher Ahrens

    Or even better...

    Force the EC to realize that no one body 'owns' the internet, IANA just maintains IP addresses and a couple DNS servers, they don't have authority to do much. I think its just jealously/ignorance on the part of the EC. The US was the birth place of the internet, get over yourselves already.

  9. The Vociferous Time Waster

    I think you should share your train set with everyone

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    That is all.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    And the specific issue they have with ICANN as it is now is what, exactly? Humm what's that you say you don't have a specific issue? Just a general feeling of inadequacy because you don't have your fingers in every ones pies yet. Right then that's what I thought. We have a saying around here that applies very much to those whinging twats in the EU who are proposing this. That saying is simply ODFO. kthnxbai.

  11. Alan L

    Please accept apologies?

    Over this side of the pond we must be creating a wonderful impression.

    Not only to we elect representatives to princely feudalism (or is it feudal princeliness?) , expect them to be fully unaccountable, well washed and invigorated through expenses on a "u want it, u take it" basis but our administrators believe that they have greater insight than the creative geniuses demonstrating incredible foresight and forevision.

    I suppose it is easily excused though as it is very easy for some elected person with team of civil servantry abounding to have far too mush time on their hands and seek to justify those incredible incomes and allowances.

    One way to do that is to try to absorb something that already exists. Sometimes it is called 'envy' or 'jealousy' but we do have to justify our incomes and allowances you know.

    Besides, it is far easier to rob what already exists than to try to come up with something new, something original or just plain ol' something as in anything.

    Those of us with some experience of years will recognise the 1960's trend of trying to nationalise something that was privately owned in the first place and, of course, in these times of fiscal challenge it is far better a way to not compromise our incomes and allowances.

    We do need that additional income you know.

  12. Anonymous Coward


    The internet is a global entity and should be maintained as such. It's really that simple. Afterall, it was Tim Berners-Lee - an Englishman and contractor for the European Organization for Nuclear Research - that invented the World Wide Web, so Europe played a pivotal role in the creation of the internet as we know it. Is it really right for one country to control such an important technology? I see that as all the more questionable given the past decade of US politics. If we don't see a move to international governance then we're just going to see a similar situation to what happened with GPS and the European Galileo project, where the US opposed it despite their threats to disable GPS if used by their enemies against them. And China has already made moves to suggest it's departure from ICANN.

    Don't get me wrong... I have zero trust in the US governing the internet; I have zero trust in Europe governing the internet; I have zero trust in China governing the internet. However, at least together all sides would be trying to push their own agenda instead of it being in the hands of the US.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Christopher Ahrens

    The US was also the birthplace of cars and mass manufactoring and look at how that went. The kid needs to leave the parents at some point to grow up into an adult. Not stay at home in the warm bussum of its mother. The Us is just sad that it can´t do anything good anymore and will cling to anything that seems to work. Grow up US.

  14. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Share what you Build Transparently and Freely, and Everyone will be Able to Driver IT with Comment*.

    "Lets face it, the mains of the internet will always live in the US and if you want to do something about it I suggest disconnecting from it and building out your own." .... By Mike 61 Posted Thursday 18th June 2009 19:26 GMT

    Staying connected will allow for New Build Input from both Private and Public Sectors/Interested Third Party Satellites ..... Anonymous Adroit Donors and Passionate Patrons of Real Long Games.

    It also Facilitates Identification of Points and Persons of ESPecial Interest for Embrace Extend Extinguish and Employ Board Play.

    * Constructive Comment, Naturally...... for an ICANN Ada Lovelaced Environment. Olala, Paris, C'est la Vie d'Amour, n'est ce pas, and a Totally Addictive Passion...... for Magic Immaculate Source Sourcing and Virtual BetaTesting/Riding/Driving for Quality Control Mutual Assurance .

  15. Matt 21

    Some people can't read

    The EU hasn't proposed it takes over, it has proposed that the international nature of the Internet is reflected in its governance.

    There now, not hard is it :-)

  16. K
    Thumb Down

    I'm european, but...

    Still the US has thus far done a very good job with the internet, so they should remain its custodians, why rock a stable ship!

  17. Anonymous Coward

    EC meddling

    1 - EC could if it wished contact ICAAN and ask if it may be able to send representatives to participate or observe discussions (invitee with or outwith rights to contribute to discussions or agenda)

    2 - EC could if it wished bad-mouth ICAAN

    My take is that it is a jolly good way for Euro MPs and associated baggage or personal or civil servantry to further justify gravytrain-like bandwaggoning.

    I have every confidence in ICAAN adapting to need.

    I have no confidence in EC Euro MPs (and associated hangers on) making any suitable or alternative provisioning in a timely way. Basically it reads as: Euro MPs and associated staff want to handbag ICAAN

  18. Anonymous Coward

    A second thought ...

    I perceive this as dull administering trying to take over constructive and flamboyant creativity.

  19. Sean Aaron
    Thumb Up

    Definitely should be internationally governed

    It may have been created by the US, but it's used by loads more than USians and therefore other governments should have a say. As far as efficiency goes I seem to recall non-Roman alphabet TLDs weren't a big priority for Yankee-land-based ICANN, were they?

    That's the kind of issue that justifies taking it away. Otherwise I will happily welcome the fracturing of the internet into regional fifedoms if that's what it takes for national interests to get a fair hearing.

  20. oldsparks

    Leave ICANN to get on with the job

    ICANN has done a pretty good job so far, and I would rather trust them than the politically motivated career politicians who know nothing about IT and everything about control of the masses.

  21. WhatWasThat?

    US Dept of Commerce Mandate

    OK... so ICANN is in place at the behest and authorization of the US Dept of Commerce, who "inherited" the DARPA WAN that became the "Internet".

    However, the "Internet" is not controlled by the US. Each and every network is owned and controlled by a corporation or academic institution. Such US-Controlled interests as France Telecom (Orange), BT, Telecom Italia, Deutsche Telekom, and China's government owned networks. Hmmm...

    Does it actually control the day to day operations? Like registration of new domains, approval of MX records in DNS, etc.? Well, no... That is done by other corporations, like Verisign (virtual monopoly, actually, but only for a & j root servers) and various international registrars. Well, darn...

    Does it create the standards used by all participating in the Internet? Well.... no. That would be the IETF and W3.

    Hmmm... What *does* ICANN do? According to the website, they give out IP addresses for domains, say how gTLD (generic Top Level Domain) and ccTLD (country code Top Level Domain) should be managed, and say how root DNS should be managed. So they are the boffins that figure out the impact of changes, how to best implement them, and recommend best practices. A buffer group for the IETF, then? All the true work was "sub contracted" out to private telecoms or dedicated-use companies *at international request* in the mid-1990's, remember?

    When the Joint Project Agreement expires, the options are to renew with ICANN, or the US Gov/ment can *take back* the responsibilities and work again. If it took it back, then the US Commerce Dept has the option to lease out the responsibility to another company. This works on a continually renewing basis as the *permanent* relationship between Ofcom and BT, for example, with Ofcom responsible for regulating how things should go (in name only, perhaps for this case) and BT doing the work.

    So wait a minute, you may be thinking... That's right - the US Gov'ment ultimately controls the management recommendations (not the ownership) of the telecommunications infrastructure it funded and created *within the US*. The only reason this has expanded beyond the US is because no one else had the gumption to do it themselves. And money, of course.

    The "segregation of the Internet" that some claim would occur if ICANN picked up its toys and went home is already here - each country can close themselves off at will (Iran, anyone?) without word or recourse from any other country. Governments already have back-ups lines separate from the "public" Internet and would not be troubled by its working or not. The only thing that keeps it up and running in an *internconnected* fasion for you and me is the money-grubbing companies that use it for their data and the paltry (comparatively) sums paid out by me and you.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Greedy Grabby Merkin Toddlers

    "The US should give oversight to one of its old military networks to the international community why?? Because everyone is now using it everywhere? Not good enough. "

    So go back to your old military network and leave the rest of us to get on with the internet.

    "Lets face it, the mains of the internet will always live in the US and if you want to do something about it I suggest disconnecting from it and building out your own."

    The majority of the internet exists outside the US. Perhaps _you_ would like to disconnect. You could spend the time reflecting on life, realising your time as global superopwer is passing (well done, you lasted less than hundred years, pretty piss poor in the scale of things), and trying to play with the other children for a change.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like