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Ruling The Web

A lot of people aren't happy about it, but U.S. negotiators won a significant victory in their effort to keep control of the Internet's core technical functions.

The deal, just days before the United Nations-sponsored World Summit on the Information Society in Tunisia, would let the U.S.-based Internet Corporation of Assigned Numbers and Names retain control over the Domain Name System.

The debate isn't over. "Why should our diverse world be beholden to an American company?" Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe asked summit attendees, according to The Associated Press.

The pact calls for an Internet Governance Forum to convene in Greece next year to air other nations' concerns about the Net's functioning. Some U.S. congressmen worry that forum gives the United Nations room to gain more influence over an Internet that's running well today. The agreement affirms that Internet-related issues are a legitimate policy concern for foreign governments, giving them a forum to agitate for change that suits their national agendas.

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