Menu
Internet infrastructure groups move away from US gov't over spying

Internet infrastructure groups move away from US gov't over spying

ICANN and other groups call for an accelerated globalization of Internet domain name functions after NSA surveillance leaks

After recent revelations about the U.S. National Security Agency's widespread surveillance of Internet communications, the coordination of the Internet's technical infrastructure should move away from U.S. government oversight, said 10 groups involved in the Internet's technical governance.

The groups -- including the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Internet Society, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) -- said Internet groups should accelerate the "globalization" of the Internet domain name functions performed by ICANN and traditionally overseen by the U.S. government. Internet governance should move toward "an environment in which all stakeholders, including all governments, participate on an equal footing," the groups said in a joint statement released this month.

During a meeting this month in Uruguay, the 10 groups "expressed strong concern over the undermining of the trust and confidence of Internet users globally due to recent revelations of pervasive monitoring and surveillance," they said in the statement.

The groups signing the statement didn't go into further detail. A spokesman for ICANN declined comment, referring to the statement, and representatives of the Internet Society and W3C didn't immediately respond to a request for comments.

But on Wednesday, Chris Disspain, CEO of the .au Domain Administration, repeated concerns about U.S. surveillance of the Internet and the NSA's Prism program that collects Internet communications worldwide. "New battle lines" are forming over who controls the Internet, Disspain said during a speech at the Australian Internet Governance Forum in Melbourne.

"Controversy over the extent of the NSA's PRISM program, the very concept of cyber-surveillance and the reactions of stakeholders ... are just the most recent developments highlighting the complexity and reach of these issues," he said, according to a transcript of the speech. "The big picture consequence is that the Internet's informal support frameworks -- those built on a bedrock of multistakeholder cooperation and trust -- have potentially been significantly weakened."

The new concerns about NSA surveillance, with leaks published since June, come after years of efforts by China, Russia and other countries to limit the influence of the U.S. government on Internet governance. Since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked information about the agency's surveillance activities, the government of Brazil has questioned whether outside Internet traffic should route through the U.S.

The NSA revelations have added to a "perfect storm" that could hurt Internet users, said Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, a U.S. ecommerce trade group. Brazil, Russia and China have long called for ICANN to leave the U.S. and become affiliated with the United Nations, while ICANN leaders have wanted to "reduce their reliance on the U.S.," he said in an email.

"This storm could cause some serious damage," DelBianco added. "Considering the censorship and suppression that happens around the world, moving ICANN out of US and into the hands of foreign governments will likely reduce privacy and free expression on the Internet."

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentprivacyinternetNetChoiceWorld Wide Web ConsortiumInternet Corporation for Assigned Names and NumbersU.S. National Security AgencyInternet Engineering Task ForceSteve DelBiancoInternet SocietyChris Disspain.au Domain Administration

Featured

Slideshows

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP has honoured its leading partners in New Zealand during 2018, following 12 months of growth through the local channel. Unveiled during the fourth running of the ceremony in Auckland, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of standout Kiwi partners.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments