Ambassador David Gross of the U.S. flatly refused to relinquish control of the major hosting computers of the Internet to the U.N. in a summit meeting earlier on Thursday. The summit, held in Geneva, was meant to cover a slew of issues for fair use and representation of all countries in the internet age.
According to Yahoo! News!
: "We will not agree to the U.N. taking over the management of the Internet," said Ambassador David Gross, the U.S. coordinator for international communications and information policy at the State Department. "Some countries want that. We think that's unacceptable."
The U.S. currently controls the management of the Internet's principle traffic servers and DNS routers, a role it has held since the internet started as a Pentagon project years ago. At that time, the U.S., Great Britain, and select other larger European countries took most of the domain names and connection addresses available, leaving little for upcoming developing countries. The U.S. and U.K. still provide the bulk of funding for the project.
The major proposal in question would have disbanded ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). The U.S. government's Department of Commerce selected ICANN in 1998 as the overseers of routing traffic and master directories. ICANN is a private company whose board consists of a bulk of international members, but the Dept. of Commerce can currently still veto decisions. Developing nations would like to see this overseen by a U.N. branch, in hopes of wresting away some of the connection addresses. In addition, as more countries use the internet for government communication, they would like to feel that this ability could not be closed down by future U.S. policy.
So what do you think? Should control be surrendered and handed over to the U.N., an organization that often proves to move very slowly and inefficiently? Or should it be held by one country for the biggest benefit of the few, who have funded the project since inception, leaving the newest nations to feed on the scraps? Tell us your view of the digital world (and who owns the real-estate) in our forums