Tag Archives: United Nations

Handing Control Of DNS To ITU Would Be A Disaster: Schmidt

Eric Schmidt headshotInternet freedom and innovation are at risk of being stifled by a new United Nations treaty that aims to bring in more regulation, Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt warned in a question-and-answer session at Mobile World Congress 2012 reported ZDNet.

According to the ZDNet report, Schmidt said handing over control of things such as naming and DNS to the UN’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) would divide the internet, allowing it to be further broken into pieces regulated in different ways.

“That would be a disaster… To some, the openness and interoperability is one of the greatest achievements of mankind in our lifetime. Do not give that up easily. You will regret it. You will hate it, because all of a sudden all that freedom, all that flexibility, you’ll find it shipped away for one good reason after another,” Schmidt said.

“I cannot be more emphatic. Be very, very careful about moves which seem logical, but have the effect of balkanising the internet,” he added, urging everyone to strongly resist the moves.

To read the ZDNet report in full, see:
www.zdnet.co.uk/news/regulation/2012/02/29/schmidt-un-treaty-a-disaster-for-the-internet-40095155/

US Republican Moves to Keep UN Away From Internet Governance

The Republicans in the US are working hard to keep the UN’s mitts off internet governance, with Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., reintroducing “a nonbinding resolution calling on President Obama to oppose any efforts by the United Nations to take over governance of the Internet,” reports Tech Daily Dose.”It has become increasingly clear that international governmental organizations, such as the United Nations, have aspirations to become the epicenter of Internet governance. And I’m going to do everything I can to make sure this never happens,” Bono Mack, the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade said in a statement.”Americans have always been skeptical about big government power grabs — and they have a right to be — especially when it impacts their daily lives. Any attempt by the United Nations to take over something that is so central to our economy is deeply troubling and a threat to American consumers. It is bad enough that we have to fight to keep the Federal Communications Commission’s hands off the Internet; just imagine having to convince governments like Iran and China.”The Internet has grown and thrived precisely because it has not been subjected to the suffocating effect of the heavy hand of government. Market-based policies, the free flow of information, and private sector leadership have allowed the Internet to flourish and become the world’s greatest communication platform. I urge the President and his Administration to oppose any effort to transfer control of the Internet to the United Nations or any other international governmental entity.”Bono Mack introduced a similar resolution in the previous congress, reported Tech Daily Dose. In her resolution, Bono Mack notes her concerns about some nations using “the internet as a tool of surveillance to curtail legitimate political discussion and dissent.” However given the recent release of US government cables and other correspondence through WikiLeaks and the ways in which the US has sought to find ways to put WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange before the courts in her country, she could easily have been referring to the US as one country that seeks to “use the internet as a tool of surveillance to curtail legitimate political discussion and dissent.”To see the text of House Resolution 57, see bono.house.gov/UploadedFiles/H._Res._57.pdf

ICANN, Cultural Imperialism, and Democratization of Internet Governance by Brian Gailey, Bryant University

Dissertation Abstract: Internet Governance has largely been managed by the United States government since its burgeoning in the 1990’s. The government has since entrusted and charged internet technical tasks and functions to ICANN. The organization along with the United States government has been the subject of heavy criticism for its inadequate international representation. Many interpret US hegemony over the internet as culturally imperialistic.The following paper explores the some of the advantages and disadvantages to multilateral Internet governance. Firstly, it will evaluate ICANN’s ability to both democratize their internal decision-making and internationalize the web by better serving foreign Internet end-users. Next, the paper examines the attitudes of Americans towards the US relinquishing control to international organizations such as the United Nations. The conclusions address both effectiveness of ICANN as well as what may be hindering the US from surrendering control to foreign governments based on nonpolitical reasons.This paper was published by, and is available for download from, the Douglas and Judith Krupp Library Digital Commons initiative, an “institutional repository” to capture, preserve and organize the intellectual output of Bryant University. It is available from:
digitalcommons.bryant.edu/honors_communication/5/

ICANN CEO Cautions Against UN Takeover

The ICANN CEO and President, Rod Beckstrom, has cautioned against allowing the United Nations to take control of its functions.”If you think of that rate, or pace, in technology, it’s just a lot more rapid than most traditional forms of policy development would be suited to,” Rod Beckstrom, the organisation’s chief executive, told Reuters on Monday.Beckstrom told Reuters that he believes multilateral state control could make ICANN less nimble and therefore less likely to quickly develop technologies like Arabic-language domain names that feed rapidly expanding Internet demand.”It’s hard to imagine any replacement for (the current system), and I feel I can say that somewhat objectively because I’ve worked for government as well,” he said, adding such a decision would be up to ICANN’s board of directors.To read the Reuters report in full, see:
in.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idINIndia-48782120100525

ICANN Signs Two Historic Agreements with UN Agencies

ICANN logoICANN and the Swiss-based Universal Postal Union (UPU) have signed a historic agreement giving the UPU managing authority over .post as a top-level domain. This agreement came about after long negotiations, public review through ICANN’s public comment process, and consideration by ICANN’s Board of Directors. An equal level of effort was required from representatives of the UPU. The result is what may be the first truly secure top-level domain for the provision of services by the UPU member states.

“We are terribly excited about the emergence of .post as the newest generic top-level domain,” ICANN CEO and President Rod Beckstrom stated at the U.N. office in Geneva during a news conference immediately following the signing of the contract. “This contract with the UPU is an important contribution to the Internet. It is part of our desire to provide a single interoperable communications network that can connect all people around the globe. It also strengthens ICANN’s role as a leader in dealing with IGOs.”

UPU Director General Edouard Dayan said the .post project is an important initiative for developing and providing secure and trusted postal services over the Internet.

At the highest conceptual level, the agreement represents linking the top-level of the Internet’s Domain Name System with the real-world physical networks of the postal system, with 600,000 global physical offices and proximity to most humans. To enable its customers to take advantage of the services the UPU envisions for .post, the UPU is already installing the first computers in many villages in their local post offices to provide those services, which can include:

  • Hybrid email; that is, email that turns into physical mail at the post office nearest the recipient. Imagine you want to send a message to an 85-year-old aunt in Switzerland who does not use email. Hybrid mail would transform your email into a letter at your aunt’s national or nearby post office. As an analogy, think of turning emails into telegrams.
  • Cybersecurity services that link authenticated addresses and personal knowledge to strengthen identities on the Internet.
  • New types of financial services.

It is at the UPU’s discretion to set technical standards for national postal systems to join the network.

ICANN and the Swiss-based Universal Postal Union (UPU) have signed 	a historic agreement giving the UPU managing authority over .post as 	a top-level domain.

ICANN and the Swiss-based Universal Postal Union (UPU) sign a historic agreement giving the UPU managing authority over .post as a top-level domain.

In addition to the UPU-ICANN contract, ICANN also entered into another important agreement the day before in Paris with another U.N. entity, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The UNESCO-ICANN cooperation agreement is intended to assist with the process of expanding the adoption of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs). IDNs are non-Latin based characters that can now be used on a limited initial basis in the top-level domain portion of an Internet address name, which is that portion of the name that is to the right of the dot, such as .com.

“IDNs might well lead to a huge expansion of Internet users among many who have previously felt estranged from the online world by their inability to use their native language,” said Mr Beckstrom. “This agreement with UNESCO will assist the inclusion of as many language groups as possible and, in the process, it will help ICANN fulfil its mission of global inclusivity by expanding our wide arena of international stakeholders.”

UNESCO and ICANN sign partnership agreement to promote linguistic diversity on Internet

UNESCO and ICANN sign partnership agreement to promote linguistic diversity on Internet

To access an audio recording of today’s UPU-ICANN news conference in Geneva, Switzerland, go to
audio.icann.org/meetings/upu-signing-geneva-11dec09-en.mp3.

To see pictures from UPU-ICANN signing, go to
www.flickr.com/photos/seiitiarata/sets/72157622979405570/.

To see pictures from the UNESCO-ICANN signing, go to
www.flickr.com/photos/seiitiarata/sets/72157622978859354/.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-2-11dec09-en.htm