[Politech] Weekly column: Will the U.N. run the Internet? [econ]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Tue Jul 12 2005 - 22:53:32 PDT


Will the U.N. run the Internet?
July 11, 2005, 4:00 AM PT
By Declan McCullagh

An international political spat is brewing over whether the United 
Nations will seize control of the heart of the Internet.

U.N. bureaucrats and telecommunications ministers from many 
less-developed nations claim the U.S. government has undue influence 
over how things run online. Now they want to be the ones in charge.

While the formal proposal from a U.N. working group will be released 
July 18, it's already clear what it will contain. A preliminary summary 
of governmental views claims there's a "convergence of views" supporting 
a new organization to oversee crucial Internet functions, most likely 
under the aegis of the United Nations or the International 
Telecommunications Union.

At issue is who decides key questions like adding new top-level domains, 
assigning chunks of numeric Internet addresses, and operating the root 
servers that keep the Net humming. Other suggested responsibilities for 
this new organization include Internet surveillance, "consumer 
protection," and perhaps even the power to tax domain names to pay for 
"universal access."

[...remainder snipped...]
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