U.S. opposes changes in Internet control

Aug. 3, 2012 at 4:32 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- The United States says it will resist efforts to have control of the Internet transferred to the United Nations.

The Internet's technical specifications and domain name system are overseen by several non-profit U.S. organizations that operate separately from government control although they are officially under the remit of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

There has been speculation other countries will seek a change in those arrangements this year.

In documents filed with the International Telecommunications Union, the U.N. agency responsible for encouraging the development of communications technologies, the Unites States set out its opposition to any changes.

"The United States is concerned that proposals by some other governments could lead to greater regulatory burdens being placed on the international telecom sector or perhaps even extended to the Internet sector," Terry Kramer, the U.S. ambassador to an upcoming ITU conference set for December in Dubai, said in a statement.

"The United States also believes that existing multi-stakeholder institutions, incorporating industry and civil society, have functioned effectively and will continue to ensure the health and growth of the Internet and all its benefits," he said.

The ITU said any changes to the current setup must have unanimous support and it would block members trying to put any such matter to a vote.

"We never vote because voting means winners and losers and you can't afford that," ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure told the BBC.

"Whatever one single country does not accept will not pass."

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