The European Commission (EC) wants more say over the US proposals to privatise control of the Internet and its domain names.
The EC is believed to be angry that the US government only consulted the US IT industry and ignored recommendations from the Geneva-based Council of Registrars when it published its green paper on proposed changes to the Internet. The EC urged member countries to join its response to the proposals, and force the US to get more international views on its proposals.
In a statement, the EC said the US green paper ignores the need for international regulation and "seems to consolidate permanent US jurisdiction over the Internet as a whole, including dispute resolution and trademarks used on the Internet".
The Internet industry and users in Europe and the rest of the world should have a say in the process, the EC said, in joint consultations with the US. Martin Bangemann, IT and telecoms commissioner at the EC, said European Union telecom ministers will reach a common position this week.
"We don't want Internet wars," he said. "The basic idea is that the Internet should be available under simple conditions to all."
The US government has not responded to the EC's comments, but sources suggested it is open to further discussion and international input. Bangemann urged countries to agree an international communications charter to address the technical and legal issues posed by the Internet
"The US government likes to consider the Internet as its child," he said.
"Now that child is growing up, it is losing some of its affiliation to its parents and starting to find other people attractive."
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