EU praises ICANN on role in Internet

02 Nov 2006
00:00

(Associated Press via NewsEdge) A top EU official praised the US commitment to pull back from its historic oversight of the Internet as a worldwide conference on the network's future opened this week.

EU Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding said she hoped last month's deal would lead to eventual independence for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the non-profit agency in charge of the Internet's key traffic-management technologies.

'We are very satisfied with the work of ICANN. What Europe was objecting was the government oversight of ICANN,' Reding told The Associated Press. 'I think ICANN is doing a perfectly good job as it is. Just leave it alone.'

Ahead of a UN summit on IT last year, Europe insisted that the U.S. government cede responsibility of policing the Internet to some sort of new combination of governments and the private sector.

The US ultimately kept sole control, through ICANN, and agreed to this week's forum instead.

Last month, the Commerce Department said it would retain oversight of ICANN for another three years, although it agreed to be less actively engaged. Reding called that 'the first step in the right direction.'

'We do not need governments to have hands on ICANN. That's why we have discussed this for years with the Americans in order to leave ICANN free, to leave ICANN independent, without government oversight,' she said. 'We will monitor very closely what will happen in the next months and years and hope that ICANN can be independent.'

The US and other governments, she added, should focus instead on threats like spam and cybercrime.

© 2006 The Associated Press

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