EU welcomes autonomy plan for Internet governance

The European Commission welcomed on Monday U.S. government moves to make the company that manages Internet domain names independent by 2009, but said it would monitor the process carefully.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which controls addresses including ".com" and country domain names such as ".cn" for China, now reports to the U.S. Commerce Department.

On Friday, the Commerce Department said it would retain oversight for three more years, renewing an agreement that was scheduled to expire last weekend.

But a lighter regime was introduced, with ICANN no longer having to file reports with the Commerce Department every six months or having its work prescribed for it, the European Commission said.

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