U.N. report addresses Internet governance

July 15, 2005

An independent group established by the United Nations concludes there is a need for Internet oversight and recommends the creation of a ruling body.

The Working Group on Internet Governance proposed four possible models for Internet oversight in a report released Thursday at U.N. World Headquarters in New York. Three of the four models call for the formation of a U.N.-linked body.

"No single government should have a pre-eminent role in relation to international Internet governance," the report said. "The WGIG recommends the creation of a new space for dialogue for all stakeholders on an equal footing on all Internet governance-related issues."

Depending on the proposal, the new body would either replace or complement the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, an international non-profit corporation currently in charge of managing domain names and IP addresses, popularly known as ICANN.

The U.S. Commerce Department currently holds veto power over the more than 250 top-level domains and officials have said the agency wants to retain authority despite promises to cede control to ICANN. The Unied States holds 10 of the world's 13 root servers, computers which store files of domain names.

The WGIG proposed body would also create and enforce policy related to allocation of domain names, security and cyber crime, spam, privacy protection and freedom of expression. The report is available at www.wgig.org.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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