US to continue running the interweb

Written by Brett Thomas

November 17, 2005 | 09:35

Tags: #australia #internet #tunisia #un #us

Companies: #icann

A last minute deal between over 100 countries was reached late Tuesday night, leaving the US in charge of the oversight of the internet. The agreement provides for an open forum for all countries to express grievances with internet management, though that forum will have no true authority. Control of the internet's organization and data flow will still be governed by the semi-independent agency, ICANN.

The deal thankfully avoided a possible showdown between the U.S. and the EU, which had looked like it might shut down the World Summit on the Information Society, held by the UN in Tunisia.

According to Yahoo! News:

"Officials say the forum to be created under Tuesday's accord would give nations a stronger say in how the Internet works, including perhaps spurring the availability of domain suffixes in Chinese, Urdu and other languages. "

Currently, though names partially in another language are possible, the suffix — the ".com" part — remains in English.

The group also could address issues not currently covered by ICANN, threats like spam and cybercrime.

The agreement is certainly a step forward, though not what all countries were looking for. However, some countries are taking a lighter view of the entire circumstance. ICANN's chief Paul Tworney, an Australian, said "If the internet had been developed in Australia, I don't think we'd have had so much heat on this discussion."

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