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US Relaxes Control Over ICANN 230

An anonymous reader tips news that the US Dept. of Commerce has signed an agreement with ICANN to end their current oversight responsibilities and allow more input from the global community. "The move comes after European regulators and other critics have said the US government could wield too much influence over a system used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Those critics have complained, among other things, about the slow rollout of Internet addresses entirely in languages other than English." The US will still be involved; every three years, ICANN's work will be evaluated by a committee, one member of which will be from the Dept. of Commerce.
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US Relaxes Control Over ICANN

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  • speed? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by twotailakitsune ( 1229480 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @01:14PM (#29595909)
    Have you seen how slow the UN is at things. If it was under the UN we would be talking about roll out in the year 2500 if it is put on speed. not that I don't want ICANN to look at the world, but I just don't want ICANN to slow down just to be under the whole worlds control. If it works great, don't fix it. If it works ok, fix it without braking it, or slowing it down.
  • by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @01:39PM (#29596271) Homepage

    This isn't just taking control away from the US government, it's putting that control more firmly into the hands of a private organization. "International" doesn't automatically mean "better" (witness the WTO and IMF). All it means is that US citizens will be just as easily ignored as EU, AU, OAS, ASEAN, and ETC citizens are today.

  • by Bralkein ( 685733 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @01:48PM (#29596411)

    there's already so many people using it, and it'd be a ton of work to setup another system.

    Well that sounds like a good reason just by itself, and you don't really give any reason for the US to maintain control other than some strange possessive instinct. The internet is a global system now, so it makes sense that ICANN should be accountable to global interests. Even though I'm British, I don't actually have a problem with the way ICANN has been run by the US, but the last thing I want is for everyone to start coming up with their own crazy system because of the kind of pointless, divisive behaviour which the US is thankfully avoiding with this new decision.

    In fact, you mention the telephone system, but I bet it's a pain to have to parse all of the different crazy international phone number formats! Maybe a global system would be better for that too, if we could start from scratch :)

  • by R2.0 ( 532027 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @02:03PM (#29596615)

    Aside from your blatant paternalism (the US has existed a lot longer than the EU has), you're happiness translates to me as "Good - now the EU can have a shot at exerting control."

    As a US citizen, I'm completely unsurprised by the EU claiming to care about other people while consolidating power in itself.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @02:24PM (#29596889)

    Yes, actually it can.

    Please read --

  • by zach_the_lizard ( 1317619 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @02:36PM (#29597097)
    I think having the Internet controlled by politicians in any organization is not a good thing. I would rather see it in the hands of something like ISO or something along those lines. Probably more like "along those lines."
  • by ElectricTurtle ( 1171201 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @02:45PM (#29597235)
    You're basically arguing the merits of Boeing vs. EADS as a way to discredit the Wright brothers. It doesn't matter so much who invented which protocol as who networked computers in the first place. Not to mention that hardware vs software/firmware/protocol is not a chicken vs. egg matter. Hardware always comes first, and those designs come from the US. (IBM, Cisco, 3Com/USR, Intel, AMD, etc. etc.)
  • by ElectricTurtle ( 1171201 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @02:57PM (#29597389)
    Your assumption is, at least according to Nationmaster, upside-down: [] The US still hosts the majority of websites in the world.
  • Other languages (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @03:01PM (#29597447) Homepage Journal
    Support for other languages (RUSSIAN!) in DNS would be excellent, because there'd be about 10000 ways I could represent in a visually identical manner (with cyrillic and other such glyph sets), thus making hacking way easier through cheap phishing tricks. I could even get an SSL certificate registered for the fake domain!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @03:09PM (#29597551)

    As a US citizen, maybe I just don't appreciate the annoyance of having ICANN be a US-supervised organization, but IMHO, ICANN has been doing a pretty good job. The organizations that I take issue with have been those like Verisign. I have kind of a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" sort of sentiment regarding ICANN. I don't see them doing anything I object to today, and I don't see how moving them to global control would improve things. Furthermore, the US has typically been relatively opposed to things like heavy-handed control of the Internet; I'd hate to see ICANN used to promote censorship or monitoring.

  • by Binary Boy ( 2407 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @03:37PM (#29597817)

    Can you please provide any example where the input of other countries was ignored by ICANN, leading to a negative outcome? Just wondering.

  • Re:Other languages (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Late Adopter ( 1492849 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2009 @04:13PM (#29598211)
    It takes intentional browser support to display such a thing, so wouldn't it also be imaginable that alongside adding that feature browsers would also add a malware warning like a coloration to the address bar? It could even be intelligent to only do that when there's Unicode characters for outside your $LOCALE. I could see Firefox doing that...

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun