US Retains Internet Control

In an eleventh-hour agreement ahead of a UN internet summit in Tunis, Tunisia, negotiators agreed to leave the US in charge of the net's addressing system. Instead an international forum will be set up to discuss net issues, although it will not have any binding authority. The deal clears the way for the summit to focus on how poorer nations can benefit from the digital revolution. About 10,000 delegates, including world leaders, technology experts and campaigners, are expected at the three-day World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis.

International forum

Disagreements over control of the internet had threatened to overshadow the summit, with countries such as China and Iran pushing for an international body under UN auspices to oversee the net. The US had stood firm against this, arguing that it would stifle technological advance and increase censorship of the internet by undemocratic regimes. The Tunis deal leaves the day-to-day management of the net in the hands of the California-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), which answers to the US government.

News source: BBC News

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