Nettime - A battle has erupted over who governs the internet, with America demanding to
maintain a key role in the network it helped create and other countries demanding
The European commission is warning that if a deal cannot be reached at a meeting
in Tunisia next month the internet will split apart.
At issue is the role of the US government in overseeing the internet's address
structure, called the domain name system (DNS), which enables communication
between the world's computers. It is managed by the California-based,
not-for-profit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) under
contract to the US department of commerce.
A meeting of officials in Geneva last month was meant to formulate a way of
sharing internet governance which politicians could unveil at the UN-sponsored
World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis on November 16-18. A European
Union plan that goes a long way to meeting the demands of developing countries to
make the governance more open collapsed in the face of US opposition. [..]