US Control Over Core Internet Systems Called Into Question

ICANN1GI.jpgNext week, in Rio, an international meeting will get underway concerning the Internet and its current status. The itinerary for the discussion includes spam, free speech and Internet access costs. However, it seems that American dominance in the governing of the Internet is more likely to be the unofficial topic for debate. Two years ago, the Internet Governance Forum was formed due to a compromise between world leaders, consequently the forum decided to meet yearly to discuss matters concerning the information medium. The first meeting concluded that the U.S. should maintain control of the Internet, but the position was agreed to be open to discussion on an annual basis. At present, the U.S. government is responsible for the nomenclature of Internet addresses. This point is resting increasingly less easy with other world leaders, as the naming system really defines how users make use of the Internet. With the Internet's increasing power as an information source (propaganda tool), governments globally, understandably, all want a piece of the action.

As the U.S. government funded much of the Internet's development, it holds veto rights against Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, (the California based nonprofit organisation it selected to manage domain names). The event is unlikely to make any fundamental changes to the infrastructure as it stands, yet the voices of dissent signal an unsettling future for the governing parties that wield control over the Internet's current direction. Is it time for a change to the original system? What do you guys make of the underlying discourse? [Yahoo News]

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