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U.N. Out! European firms don't want ICANN to be overseen by United Nations

U.N. Out! European firms don't want ICANN to be overseen by United Nations
U.N. Out! European firms don't want ICANN to be overseen by United Nations

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Below is reproduced from excerpt from the Wall Street 
Journal's web site, which requires a subscription.



The EU last week proposed what it called "an international government 
involvement at the level of principles" in overseeing the Internet 
Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. The U.S.-backed agency comes 
up with the technical rules that allow the Internet's billion users to 
post and visit Web sites. The EU -- supported by its telecommunications 
companies -- long has urged giving all governments a share of the 
indirect oversight role currently handled by the U.S. Department of 

However, some telecom companies have objected to the European 
Commission's latest move. "I've been getting urgent calls from our 
members, and they are upset," says Michael Bartholomew, director of the 
European Telecommunications Network Operators Association, which 
represents 42 major companies in 35 countries.

EU Commission spokesman Martin Selmayr insisted that that his 
organization's position was being misinterpreted. "We categorically 
oppose any direct government involvement with Icann," he said. In an 
email to Mr. Bartholomew sent yesterday, chief EU negotiator Peter Zangl 
wrote that the EU opposes "involvement of governments in the day-to-day 
management of Internet resources" and instead supports a 
"multi-stakeholder, public-private partnership" in overseeing Icann. ... "
It introduced a proposal that went a long way towards the position that 
a number of states headed by Iran had been advocating, opening for a 
political control mechanism," Carl Bildt, former Swedish prime minister 
and chairman of Swedish telecom Teleopti, wrote on his web log. It was, 
he added, "a U-turn by the European Union that was as unexpected as it 
was disturbing."

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