Will the U.N. run the Internet?
July 11, 2005, 4:00 AM PT
By Declan McCullagh
An international political spat is brewing over whether the United
Nations will seize control of the heart of the Internet.
U.N. bureaucrats and telecommunications ministers from many
less-developed nations claim the U.S. government has undue influence
over how things run online. Now they want to be the ones in charge.
While the formal proposal from a U.N. working group will be released
July 18, it's already clear what it will contain. A preliminary summary
of governmental views claims there's a "convergence of views" supporting
a new organization to oversee crucial Internet functions, most likely
under the aegis of the United Nations or the International
At issue is who decides key questions like adding new top-level domains,
assigning chunks of numeric Internet addresses, and operating the root
servers that keep the Net humming. Other suggested responsibilities for
this new organization include Internet surveillance, "consumer
protection," and perhaps even the power to tax domain names to pay for
Politech mailing list
Archived at http://www.politechbot.com/
Moderated by Declan McCullagh (http://www.mccullagh.org/)