GENEVA, Switzerland, October 11, 2005, (LifeSiteNews.com)—ÂÂ The European Union announced plans last week to end the unilateral control of the Internet currently exercised by the United States.
David Hendon, director of business relations for the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry, outlined the preparations for the upcoming World Summit on the Information Society next month. Hendon explained that as a result of the EU’s actions a new body would be put in place to run the Internet.
Currently the US Department of Commerce (DoC) controls the “root servers” through a private company called the “Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann). A number of countries, including some of the world’s most notorious violators of human rights, such as China, Cuba, Iran, Brazil and several African states, requested that the US relinquish control. The DoC refused. As a result the EU has announced that it will create a new forum that would decide public policy, and a “cooperation model” comprising governments that would be in overall charge.
The proposal will be tabled at the UN next month and if there is international consensus then the US will have no choice but to acquiesce.
While Hendon insisted that the movement is only focused on “issues setting the top-level framework” others are not so confident. Human rights issues are a concern with China and Tunisia, both are known for filtering internet content and silencing online discussion. The fear of unnecessary bureaucracy restricting business is another issue at stake.
Internet expert and author of Ruling the Root, Milton Mueller, was quoted in the Guardian Unlimited saying “The idea of the council is so vague. It’s not clear to me that governments know what to do about anything at this stage apart from get in the way of things that other people do.”
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