HANDS OFF THE NET

July 18, 2005

A United Nations task force has outlined four possible options for the future of the Internet. The idea behind at least three of the four options is to end U.S. control of the Internet -- a move to which the United States has steadfastly objected, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

IBD notes that:

  • As it stands now, the Internet is managed by a nonprofit organization -- the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers, based in California. ICANN, as it's known, handles all the routine business of the Internet.
  • Some have criticized ICANN as lacking accountability. Others argue that ICANN's role in imposing mandatory arbitration in trademark disputes is a kind of institutional overreach.
  • However, the rapid growth of the Internet -- and its emergence as an source of information, commerce and communication -- is at least partly a result of ICANN's management.

The U.N.'s Working Group on Internet Governance would end all that by taking over ICANN's role or bringing ICANN itself under U.N. control. The options will be considered at an "Information Society" summit in November.

Source: Editorial, "Hands Off The Net," Investor's Business Daily, July 18, 2005.

 

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