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When is a privatisation not a privatisation?

ICANN - The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers - runs the top end of the internet under a contract with the US Department of Commerce. As a user, I'd say it is doing a pretty good job, all things considered, although 'this agreement expires on 30 September this year'. What's more, it is not an arm of the US state, it is 'a private not for profit corporation'. So not really something one could privatise.

However, a certain organisation that lurks in Brussels has a certain Commissar with a track record of not really understanding market mechanisms, and she does not like the ICANN set up one little bit, and wants it 'privatised':

"I trust that President Obama will have the courage, the wisdom and the respect for the global nature of the internet to pave the way in September for a new, more accountable, more transparent, more democratic and more multilateral form of Internet Governance"


Is your skin crawling yet? It gets worse, much worse.


"EU Commissioner Reding also outlined how a new model of Internet Governance could be shaped after 30 September. It could include in particular the following:
  • A fully privatised and independent ICANN complying with the best standards of corporate governance, in particular with those on financial transparency and internal accountability, and subject to effective judicial review".
Which probably boils down to green audits, the odd CSR programme and anything else that looks pretty in the annual report.

And now for the ohnosecond:

"A multilateral forum where governments can discuss general internet governance policy issues, such as a "G12 for Internet Governance" – an informal group of government representatives that meets at least twice a year and can make, by majority, recommendations to ICANN where appropriate. This group would provide swift reaction in case of threats to the stability, security and openness of the internet. To be geographically balanced, this "G-12 for Internet Governance" would include two representatives from each North America, South America, Europe and Africa, three representatives from Asia and Australia, as well as the Chairman of ICANN as a non-voting member. International Organisations with competences in this field could be given observer status".

I think I may have to sit in a corner and shake for a bit.

For the bold, here is a video of the Commissar telling us all about it. She is almost as jumpy on camera as our own dear prime minister:


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Anonymous Anonymous said... 8:26 am

They want to control everything, so it's no wonder they want to control the worldwide DNS. I wonder what the aims are? Rein in the bloggers, I guess, and stop anyone criticising the EU.

Let's hope Obama grows a pair and tells them to take a hike.  



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