[governance] press report on Wash. DC Internet Governance event

Ralf Bendrath bendrath at zedat.fu-berlin.de
Fri Jul 29 17:57:02 EDT 2005

Here is the first report I found about the Washington meeting.


US Under Pressure Over ICANN

JULY 29, 2005
PR Newswire

WASHINGTON -- The United States must accept the need for change in 
Internet governance, a group of academic experts on Internet policy stated 
today. The U.S. should assert leadership by advancing new proposals for 
cooperating with other countries in the oversight and supervision of 
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and by 
supporting the development of a global framework treaty that will protect 
the Internet's unique freedoms while working jointly to resolve its problems.

"While we can justly claim that the U.S. 'invented' the Internet," 
Syracuse University professor Milton Mueller said, "with over a billion 
users now, US citizens are a small minority of the networked world. If the 
Internet's central coordination functions are seen as a U.S. strategic 
asset rather than as a neutral, globally-shared infrastructure, the risks 
of deliberate disruption and politicization of the Internet can only 
The comments, part of a statement developed by the Syracuse 
University-based Internet Governance Project (IGP), came during a 
symposium sponsored by the IGP and three other university programs to 
assess the final report of the U.N. Working Group on Internet Governance 
(WGIG). The event, "Regime Change on the Internet? Internet Governance 
after WGIG," was the first public forum in the United States to review the 
U.N. Working Group's report. The report will become the basis of 
international negotiations at the World Summit on the Information Society 
(WSIS) in Geneva this September. WSIS negotiations will be concluded at a 
summit in Tunisia in November 2005. The U.S. State Department, which has 
issued a call for public comment on the report, was represented at the 
symposium by Richard Beaird, Senior Deputy U.S. Coordinator of its 
Communication and Information Policy section.

Much of the discussion centered on a June 30, 2005 U.S. Commerce 
Department statement claiming that the U.S. government will "continue to 
maintain" its unilateral authority over the Internet's domain name and 
addressing system. That statement disappointed many in the global Internet 
community, who believed that the World Summit on the Information Society 
provided an opportunity to negotiate more open, multilateral governance 

Markus Kummer, a Swiss diplomat who coordinated the WGIG, noted in his 
speech that the U.N. Working Group identified unilateral U.S. control of 
the DNS root as one of the most important public policy issues facing the 
Internet. The WGIG was composed by an internationally diverse group of 40 
governmental representatives, business people, and public interest groups. 
Its report also called for the creation of a new "global forum" devoted to 
Internet issues where government, business, and civil society would have 
equal status.
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