EU demands greater input into internet governance

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EU demands greater input into internet governance

ICANN doesn't reflect global nature of the web.

The European Commission is calling for more transparency and accountability in internet governance in the run up to the expiration of contracts held by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

ICANN is responsible for the management of the internet's main resources, and its existing contract with the US government expires at the end of September.

The Commission is suggesting that any future contracts should be broadened to include involvement by more parties.

"There are 1.5 billion internet users worldwide, 300 million of whom are in the European Union's 27 member states. Future internet governance arrangements should reflect the key role that the global network has come to play for all countries," said the Commission in a statement.

Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, added that ICANN is approaching an historic point in its development.

"Will it become a fully independent organisation, accountable to the global internet community? Europeans would expect so, and this is what we will push for. I call on the US to work together with the European Union to achieve this, " she said.

The Commission made the suggestions in a document entitled Internet governance: the next steps, which recommends that Icann, or another private body, should be externally accountable to reflect the global nature of the internet.

"As the Joint Project Agreement is ending now, the Commission believes that Icann should become universally accountable, not just to one government, but to the global internet community," it explained.

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