U.S. Control of Internet Remains Issue

November 17th, 2007 - 12:01 am ICT by admin  

A U.N.-sponsored Internet conference ended Thursday with little to show in closing the issue of U.S. control over how people around the world access e-mail and Web sites.

With no concrete recommendations for action, the only certainty going forward is that any resentment about the American influence will only grow as more users from the developing world come online, changing the face of the global network.

“I think that there are many Third World countries and developing countries and people from Asia and so on who are pressuring for changes,” said Augusto Gadelha Viera, coordinator of the Brazilian Internet steering committee and chairman of a closing session on emerging issues at the four-day Internet Governance Forum.

As the conference drew to a close, Russian representative Konstantin Novoderejhkin called on the United Nations secretary-general to create a working group to develop “practical steps” for moving Internet governance “under the control of the international community.”

At issue is control over Internet domain names, the monikers after the “dot” like “com” and “org” that are crucial for computers to find Web sites and route e-mail.

The domain name system is now controlled by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a Marina del Rey, Calif.-based nonprofit over which the U.S. government retains veto power. By controlling the core systems, the United States indirectly influences the way much of the world uses the Internet.

The Internet Governance Forum, the result of a compromise world leaders reached two years ago to try to resolve the issue of U.S. control, has no decision-making powers. At most those seeking change can use the conference to pressure the United States to cede control.

The United States insists that the existing arrangements ensure the Internet’s stability and prevent a country from trying to, say, censor Web sites by pulling entries out of the domain name…

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