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7/31/2006
11:25 AM
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Brief: U.S. Control Of Internet Expected To Continue

Based on a recent U.S. Commerce Department hearing, there's a good chance its agreement with ICANN to administer the DNS will be renewed or re-crafted.

Don't expect the U.S. government to give up control of the Internet anytime soon. At a Commerce Department hearing last week, a panel of Internet community representatives indicated that the Internet's Domain Name System isn't yet ready for privatization.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers administers the DNS under an agreement with Commerce. President Clinton in 1997 directed the department, once certain criteria are met, to privatize DNS management to increase competition and international participation. But there's a good chance that the ICANN agreement will be renewed when it expires Sept. 30. Three congressmen--Rick Boucher, D-Va.; John Doolittle, R-Calif.; and Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.--introduced a nonbinding House resolution last year to keep ICANN in charge of DNS servers.

Among the concerns cited last week: "The continued stability of the Internet is essential to not just us, but our users," said panelist David Fares, a VP at News Corp. and a director for the U.S. Council for International Business.

In a 2005 report, the U.N. Working Group on Internet Governance argued that "no single government should have a pre-eminent role in relation to international Internet governance."

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