February 12, 2014 - 18:37 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The European Commission has called for the U.S. to have less control over the internet, citing recent U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) internet surveillance revelations, The Inquirer reports.
The Commission called for reform in the way which the internet is run, saying it needs to be more transparent and accountable. Specifically, the EC wants to ensure that one country, specifically the U.S., doesn't maintain a dominating influence.
EC VP Neelie Kroes said, "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. Our fundamental freedoms and human rights are not negotiable. They must be protected online."
Among its proposals, the EC called for globalization of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which will ensure the U.S. doesn't have too much influence over the assignment of web addresses. This reform would also address the duties of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), the department of ICANN that allocates IP addresses.
The EC also called for strengthening the Internet Governance Forum, a body for governments and industry stakeholders to discuss and debate policy, and review accountability for and management of internet infrastructure.
Other reforms the EC called for included the launch of the Global Internet Policy Observatory, an online platform for creating "transparency on internet policies", commitments to protecting the open and unfragmented nature of the internet, and a commitment to globalizing key decision making related to the internet.
Kroes added, "Some are calling for the International Telecommunications Union to take control of key internet functions. I agree that governments have a crucial role to play, but top-down approaches are not the right answer. We must strengthen the multi-stakeholder model to preserve the internet as a fast engine for innovation."