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European Union Wants a Cut of the Internet

May 13, 2009, 03:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Justin Ryan)

"That hasn't stopped speculation and suggestion, however; ideas have been floated to transfer control to everyone from the U.S. government directly to the UN to abandoning control all together and letting it all take care of itself. The European Union has been vocal for some time with criticism of the unilateral control exercised over such a global function, and earlier this month, the European Commissioner for Information Society and Media, Viviane Reding, proposed her own successor body. Under Reding's plan, control would be transitioned from the U.S. government via ICANN to an informal body, based on the G12, that would oversee a new, completely-independent authority, also to be named ICANN, and an independent judiciary would be established, presumably to undertake the dispute resolution functions now performed by ICANN.

"Though it would only meet a minimum of twice each year, Reding expects it to provide "swift reaction in case of threats to the stability, security and openness of the Internet." Representatives would be apportioned to maintain geographic balance, with Africa, Europe, North America, and South America each dispatching two, Asia providing three, and Australia one, with the head of ICANN attending but not voting. The European Commission is holding hearings into the matter of governing the Internet, with the first scheduled for just days after Reding's comments."

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