Lawmakers worry about losing Internet influence in new deal
By Kim Hart – 09/30/09 06:15 AM ET
The U.S. will lose influence over the Internet due to a new agreement expected to take effect Wednesday.
The deal, which appears to give foreign governments more say in how the global network is run, has come under criticism from lobbyists for U.S. business and lawmakers who want to preserve U.S. oversight over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
For the past 10 years, the United States has delegated its authority over the Internet to ICANN, a nonprofit organization that has shared oversight with the Commerce Department of the Internet’s underlying technology, most notably the system that allocates domain names and Web addresses.
China and Russia, among other countries, have argued this gives the U.S. too much control over the worldwide network increasingly dominated by global users.
The new arrangement sets up four oversight panels, run by representatives from foreign governments, that will review ICANN’s affairs, according to sources familiar with the deal.