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Thursday, August 6, 2009

ITU Stealthily Proposes Takeover of ICANN

In order to facilitate a "people-centered, inclusive, development-oriented and non-discriminatory Information Society," the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations recently released a report to enhance cooperation on issues related to the Internet. The most important bits are located in the annex, under the heading, "International Telecommunication Union." On pages 9 and 10, addendums to the current gTLD and ccTLD regimes are outlined.

  • gTLDs: "In the case of Internet governance-related public policies that diverge from international law and treaties, an intergovernmental organization could serve as the forum for discussions and agreements between the parties concerned."
  • ccTLDs: "Any difference that may arise between the two entities could be resolved through an international/intergovernmental organization with the necessary mandate."

Together, these changes, if implemented, could put the ITU in the role that ICANN currently occupies, as the technical coordinating body responsible for managing the Domain Name System. While ICANN is far from perfect, its basic model is far superior to any United Nations model. The way to make Internet governance more accountable is to "get back to basics" in building an ICANN 3.0, as PFF Adjunct Fellow Mike Palage has suggested--not turning the whole system over to a far less accountable, lumbering globalist bureaucracy.

posted by William Rinehart @ 4:52 PM | Internet Governance

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