CNET: Russian Continuing To Push To Take Over Control Of Domain Naming System From ICANN

According to a story published in last night, according to ” documents leaked on Friday from an upcoming treaty conference, the Russian Federation is calling on the United Nations to take over key aspects of Internet governance, including addressing and naming.

“The Russians made their proposal on November 13 in the lead-up to December’s World Conference on International Communications in Dubai.”

“The conference will consider revisions to the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs), a treaty overseen by the UN’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The treaty has not been revised since 1988, before the emergence of the commercial Internet.”

“Russia’s proposals would, if adopted, dramatically affect Internet governance, transferring power from engineering-based organizations such as the Internet Society and ICANN to national governments, all under the authority of the UN.”

“There are 193 Member States participating in the WCIT.

“Each gets a single vote on proposed changes to the treaty. ”

“The treaty negotiations and its documents are secret, though many have been exposed through the Web site WCITLeaks, run by two researchers at George Mason University.”

“But the Russians propose adding a new section to the treaty to deal explicitly with “IP-based networks.” Bringing the Internet into the treaty in any capacity would represent a major expansion of the scope of the ITU’s authority.”

“The leaked proposal would strongly endorse national control over those parts of the Internet that reside within a country’s borders, including ISPs, traffic, and engineering.”

“One suggested change to the treaty, for example, declares that “Member States shall have the sovereign right to manage the Internet within their national territory, as well as to manage national Internet domain names.”

“Russia is also calling for a major revision to the  governance process that has long-presided over domain names and Internet addressing, which it calls a “critical transnational resource.”

“Under a proposed revision, the treaty would be amended to make clear that “Member States shall have equal rights in the international allocation of Internet addressing and identification resources.”

So instead of the multi-stake holder holder model ICANN,  “the ITU, wants to allows only its member nations to vote. Private organizations can participate in its proceedings by paying a large annual fee but cannot propose amendments or vote.”

So as the conference is next month the question must be asked what exactly will happen if the treat nations vote in favor on the ITU proposal.

What happens to the naming system” what happens if some countries set up their own naming systems? what happens to the $350,000,000 people have paid to ICANN for new gTLD’s?

Interesting times.

Especially for those gathering at ICANN on December 17th for the new gTLD prioritization draw.



  1. OuMun says

    I guess the right thing would be to have “the internet” or Domain Naming System under the control of UN, setting up something like UNICEF, UNHCR, UNESCO, in consideration of the fact that “the internet” should be a thing of everybody, universal, egalitarian. In poor words, ICANN should be under the UN umbrella and not be a non-profit California corporation.

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