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Eu ­rges Icann Independence

By Reuters

May 5, 2009

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ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, should become completely independent of the U.S. government, says EU Information Society commissioner Viviane Reding. In a statement regarding the Oct. 1 expiration of ICANN's contract with the U.S. Department of Commerce, Reding says, "This opens the door for the full privatization of ICANN and it also raises the question of to whom ICANN should be accountable."

Reding envisions the creation of a "G12 for Internet Governance," which would include two representatives each from North America, South America, and Europe, three representatives from Asia and Australia, and a non-voting chairman. The European Commission will be holding a public hearing May 6 in Brussels to further debate the future of Internet governance.

"In the long run, it is not defendable that the government department of only one country has oversight of an Internet function which is used by hundreds of millions of people in countries all over the world," Reding says.

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