Tuesday, July 05, 2005

What's in a Domain Name Anyway?

From E-Week:

Feds Won't Let Go of Internet DNS By David Morgenstern

Citing national security and business concerns, officials of the U.S. Department of Commerce Thursday said the federal agency will retain control of the Internet's domain naming system, rather than hand over complete responsibility to the international nonprofit currently running the operation....

However turning over extensive information about American citizens to a for-profit company is okay?

While the agency recognizes that other governments have "public policy and sovereignty concerns" relating to the Internet and domain services, Gallagher said, those interests should be focused on the ccTDL (country code top level domains). He said that the United States is "committed to working with the international community to address these concerns, bearing in mind the fundamental need to ensure stability and security of the Internet's DNS..." (Domain Name System)

This statement flies in the face of an MOU (memorandum of understanding) between the Dept. of Commerce and ICANN, which would have transferred control over to the international body in September 2006....

And why???

Michael Froomkin, a law professor at the University of Miami School of Law and critic of ICANN, views the Commerce Department's move more as an attempt to impact the upcoming meeting of the United Nation's World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) than a specific snub against ICANN. Through WSIS, the UN has been trying to play a larger role in Internet governance...

"The real big question right now is how is the EU going to deal with this?" Froomkin said. "The EU has supported ICANN through thick and thin from the sense that it was the best way to get the U.S. [government] out of this."

This is a put your manhood on the table challange from the US to the UN and more importantly to the EU. The meeting in Luxembourg takes place on July 11th. Europe's reaction should be most interesting. This is big $$ folks.

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