EU body calls for US to give up internet control, pushes for international governance
The European Commission has said it is determined to “redraw the global map of internet governance” as massive US surveillance has damaged public trust in the web, and said it is ready to negotiate with Washington for control of web architecture.
The commission, the EU’s top executive body, on Wednesday proposed a key reform to the way the internet is managed and run, saying that Europe will “pursue a role as honest broker” in future global negotiations on the issue.
“The next two years will be critical in redrawing the global map of Internet governance. Europe must contribute to a credible way forward for global internet governance. Europe must play a strong role in defining what the net of the future looks like,” EC Vice President Neelie Kroes said in a statement.
Kroes directly connected her demands of a “more transparent, accountable and inclusive governance” of the web to the revelations on large-scale internet surveillance conducted by the US government, which was exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The revelations “have called into question the stewardship of the US when it comes to Internet Governance” and pointed at the need to switch to a “more global model,” the EC statement said.
“Our fundamental freedoms and human rights are not negotiable. They must be protected online,” Kroes said.
Currently, some vital functions of internet management are in the hands of US-based companies. For instance, top-level domain names (as .com, .net, .org) and IP address spaces are controlled and managed by the California-based corporation ICANN, which operates under a contract with the US government.
But according to the EC statement, ICANN and other key decision-making internet institutions must be globalized to “safeguard the stability, security and resilience of the Internet.”
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