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The Future of the Net

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by D L Ennis

In Geneva right now there is debate going on as to, “Who gets to run the internet?” It’s really quite disturbing! Part of a worldwide conference, “…who will be granted overall control of the internet from next year is proving the most controversial…” subject.

The United States, which currently has overall control of the internet, is refusing to allow other governments to take the lead role, arguing instead that companies, organisations and individuals made the Internet what it is today and they should continue to have the biggest say.

On the other side, Iran and Brazil are determined that the world’s governments – and not just the US – are the ones who get to decide what is done. They favour pulling ICANN, the existing body charged with overseeing the internet, into the United Nations.

Iran and Brazil want a United Nations governed body to control the internet; In my opinion this would be disastrous.

…Brazil and Iran sees a UN body (with governments deciding matters) pulling in and effectively taking over internet control, including identifying where the Internet should be going.

The UK is calling for the creation of a forum that works with the existing Internet organizations, however, not in an oversight role.

Pakistan Ambassador Masood Khan is the chairman of the committee charged with the issue. The conference ends tomorrow Friday, September 30, 2005 and we should know their decision by then.

Khan is also realistic about progress: “I think we shall have some text by the time we reach Tunis [the World Summit]. But there will be some text in brackets. Which means that we have agreement in some parts of Internet governance and continuing disagreement over some other parts – particularly about the forum or about future mechanisms.”

You can read the entire article here.

Thanks to Dan Markham for the lead on this story.

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  • The UN? What makes anyone think they can get this right? So far, I’ve been less than impressed by their ability to enforce anything.

    The Internet is running pretty well the way it is right now. The last thing we need is an over rated international body trying to govern it.

  • The UN is useless!

    D L