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EU calls for US to have less control of the internet following NSA revelations

EC looks to preserve 'open and unfragmented' nature of the web
Wed Feb 12 2014, 12:56
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THE EUROPEAN COMMISSON (EC) has called for the US to have less control over the internet, citing recent US National Security Agency (NSA) internet surveillance revelations.

The EC called for reform today in the way which the internet is run, saying it needs to be more transparent and accountable. Specifically, the EC wants to ensure that one country, specifically the US, doesn't maintain a dominating influence.

EC VP Neelie Kroes said, "The next two years will be critical in redrawing the global map of internet governance. Europe must contribute to a credible way forward for global internet governance. Europe must play a strong role in defining what the net of the future looks like.

"Our fundamental freedoms and human rights are not negotiable. They must be protected online."

Among its proposals, the EC called for globalisation of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which will ensure the US doesn't have too much influence over the assignment of web addresses. This reform would also address the duties of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), the department of ICANN that allocates IP addresses.

The EC also called for strengthening the Internet Governance Forum, a body for governments and industry stakeholders to discuss and debate policy, and review accountability for and management of internet infrastructure.

Other reforms the EC called for included the launch of the Global Internet Policy Observatory, an online platform for creating "transparency on internet policies", commitments to protecting the open and unfragmented nature of the internet, and a commitment to globalising key decision making related to the internet.

Kroes added, "Some are calling for the International Telecommunications Union to take control of key internet functions. I agree that governments have a crucial role to play, but top-down approaches are not the right answer.

"We must strengthen the multi-stakeholder model to preserve the internet as a fast engine for innovation." µ

 

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