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U.S. Should Control Internet Body, Senator Says

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flex

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. senator said he would try to rein in the group that oversees the Internet's traffic system, calling for a more direct U.S. government role in the ostensibly international and independent body.

Sen. Conrad Burns, a Montana Republican, on Monday said he likely would introduce a bill to require the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, also known by its acronym ICANN, to give the U.S. government more influence in managing the domain-name system. The system would let Internet users navigate the Web with easy-to-remember names like "www.example.com."

If ICANN failed to cooperate, Burns said, it could be stripped of its authority when its contract comes up for renewal this fall.

In a statement released two days before a Senate subcommittee is scheduled to hold hearings on the global body, Burns said the change was necessary because ICANN has exceeded its authority, does not operate in an open fashion, and is dangerously unaccountable to Internet users, businesses and other key interest groups.

"The U.S. needs to ensure ICANN operates with the same sort of internal processes as in any other federal agency," he said.

ICANN is not a part of the U.S. government, but operates under a 1998 contract with the Department of Commerce that requires it to meet several conditions before it assumes full control of the domain-name system.

But it is uncertain whether ICANN will ever meet those conditions and obtain full control, according to a congressional investigator's prepared testimony obtained by Reuters.

Criticism of ICANN comes from many quarters, not just U.S. politicians. Dozens of other governments have charged ICANN with being too dominated by U.S. interests, while the domain-name industry and grass-roots "cybercitizens" have raised their own grievances.

PROGRESS SLOW ON MANY FRONTS

ICANN has introduced competition into the domain-name business, driving down Web-site registration prices from around $50 to $10, according to testimony prepared by Peter Guerrero, a director of the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress.

But it has made little progress toward fulfilling other requirements such as boosting security of the domain-name system and setting up an inclusive governance process, Guerrero said.

ICANN has made little progress in formalizing relationships with other volunteer groups that oversee aspects of the domain-name system, he said.

"Until these issues are resolved, the timing and eventual outcome of the transition effort remain highly uncertain, and ICANN's legitimacy and effectiveness as the private-sector manager of the domain-name system remain in question," Guerrero said in his written testimony.

Guerrero also took the Department of Commerce to task for what he called its informal, hands-off approach to ICANN oversight, and recommended that Commerce issue periodic progress reports.

ICANN President M. Stuart Lynn declined to comment on Burns' proposal, saying he would wait until the bill was actually introduced.

"We respect Sen. Burns' interest in ICANN, and we'll have to see what evolves," said Lynn, who is scheduled to testify on Wednesday before the Senate science, technology and space subcommittee, on which Burns sits.

Lynn said Commerce exercises considerable oversight, noting that the group cannot add new "top-level" domains to join the likes of ".com" without the federal agency's approval.

A Commerce official declined to comment ahead of the hearing, when Assistant Secretary Nancy Victory is also scheduled to testify.

ICANN has struggled over the past several years to figure out exactly how it should function and who should participate. After direct elections open to any Internet user filled five of 19 board seats, the board of directors in March ruled out further elections.

An official reform committee released its blueprint last week, which will be considered when ICANN next meets at the end of the month in Romania.
 
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Nic

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Originally posted by flex
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. senator said he would try to rein in the group that oversees the Internet's traffic system, calling for a more direct U.S. government role in the ostensibly international and independent body.


ICANN has struggled over the past several years to figure out exactly how it should function and who should participate. After direct elections open to any Internet user filled five of 19 board seats, the board of directors in March ruled out further elections.


I agree that ICANN needs to be "fixed",
but making the U.S control the internet body.....

that would not be "international"
 

wwww

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Well, it looks like that the US is moving the way that third world and communist countries do...trying to control the internet..
That government is just doing too much trying to rule the world. The Internet is international, and not US anymore. The ICANN should be none of Bush's business.
If they need something to play with they shall play with their own .us namespace, but they shouldn't be allowed to touch anything else. :mad:
 

flex

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Originally posted by wwww
Well, it looks like that the US is moving the way that third world and communist countries do...trying to control the internet..
That government is just doing too much trying to rule the world. The Internet is international, and not US anymore. The ICANN should be none of Bush's business.
If they need something to play with they shall play with their own .us namespace, but they shouldn't be allowed to touch anything else. :mad:

yeah, internet is meant to be shared worldwide and should not capitalize it for themselves at their own interest. :sad:
ponders what would internet be like if it's under US govt control.
 
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