The body in charge of assigning Internet addresses such as .com and .net should be shorn of its U.S. government links from October and made fully independent, the European Union's information society chief said on Monday.EU Blasts U.S. Links to ICANN - InternetNews.com
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a not-for-profit organization set up in 1998 but operates under the aegis of the U.S. Department of Commerce, a set-up that raises concerns for some as the Internet is seen as belonging to a wider constituency.
Pressure in the past on ICANN from right-wing politicians to stop .xxx from becoming a domain name for pornography, worried some policymakers. ICANN's operating agreement with the U.S. government expires at the end of September.
"This opens the door for the full privatization of ICANN and it also raises the question of to whom ICANN should be accountable, as from 1 October," EU Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding said in a statement.
She urged U.S. President Barack Obama to agree to a "new, more accountable, more transparent, more democratic and more multilateral form of Internet governance."
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