The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has welcomed calls from the European Commission (EC) for further globalisation of the internet in the wake of the PRISM spying scandal.
EC vice president for the digital agenda Neelie Kroes said on Wednesday that there needed to be a multi-stakeholder approach to the way the internet is run, including increasing the global nature of ICANN.
ICANN is responsible for vital internet technologies such as the distribution of IP addresses and the global domain name system. Kroes said the importance of the body means it must become as global as possible in its management.
Speaking to V3, Nigel Hickson, vice president of Global Stakeholder Engagement for Europe at ICANN, said the organisation welcomed the comments from Kroes and agreed with her opinion. “Internet governance needs to be global and needs a multi-stakeholder approach so everyone can share their views,” he said.
“We’re very pleased Kroes has said all this because it’s something our chairman Fadi Chehadé has been saying for some time. The challenge for ICANN is to speed up the globalisation work we’re doing."
Hickson said it was undeniable that the Snowden revelations of last year had reopened the debate on internet governance and should be seen as an opportunity to create a better framework around the internet.
“In the past it was difficult to get politicians to understand what internet governance was, now they’re falling over themselves to discuss it, so I think we’ll see enhanced attention paid to what is happening on the internet,” he said.
Hickson added that the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance – taking place in São Paulo, Brazil, on 23-24 April – would be an ideal time for key stakeholders to come together and discuss the issues raised.
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