Internet Wars on the Way?

The U.S. may have only dodged a bullet - and not ended the fight -- in the latest skirmish over its effort to maintain control over who runs the major .com and .net domains for the Internet. At least that's the consensus of one researcher that has followed international Internet politics for a while.

Tags: Internet, Gittens, WSIS Vote, Internet Governance, Control, Net Domains, Awarded Verisign,


The U.S. may have only dodged a bullet - and not ended the fight -- in the latest skirmish over its effort to maintain control over who runs the major .com and .net domains for the Internet. At least that's the consensus of one researcher that has followed international Internet politics.

At issue is last week's decision by WSIS (World Summit on Information Society) to create a United Nations governed group to discuss ways to broaden the current governance and management of the Internet.

The proposed "Internet Governance Forum," would begin deliberating in 2006 to find ways to migrate some of the Internet's most important management roles from U.S. and private firms, into a global body. Info-tech analyst Curtis Gittens sees the WSIS vote as not simply another "share the wealth" motion from non-U.S. interests concerning this Internet.

In fact, Gittens said the WSIS vote is nothing less than a warning shot.

"This vote was orchestrated by the E.U., who is very upset at the fact the U.S. still keep control of the root servers for the Internet's most popular domains," Gittens said. "The Internet facilitates billions of dollars in international commerce every year, [and] there isn't a country in the world whose economy isn't affected by the Internet; therefore, it shouldn't be under the control of just one country."

The WSIS vote resulted, Gittens said from a move earlier this fall, where the U.S. (via ICAN) awarded Verisign another 5-year contract to the be sole proprietor of the .com and .net domains.

"Some said this was politics as usual, but our view is that there are more countries willing to make this a big deal, and we will see more pressures on the U.S> to open Internet governance" over the term of the 5-year Verisign agreement, Gittens told IDN.




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