Reuters reports that,
U.N. agency says it’s ready to govern the Net:The United Nations’ International Telecommunications Union is ready to take over the governance of the Internet from the United States, ITU head Yoshio Utsumi said on Friday.
The United States has clashed with the European Union and much of the rest of the world over the future of the Internet. It currently manages the global information system through a partnership with California-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, better known as ICANN.
“We could do it if we were asked to,” Utsumi told a news conference. The U.N. agency’s experience in communications, its structure and its cooperation with private and public bodies made it best-placed to take on the role, he said.
While the ITU’s desire to replace ICANN has been an open secret for years, this is the clearest declaration yet from the ITU’s rather outspoken leader. The official line until now has been much softer.
As far as I can tell, the US government mistrusts the ITU for various complicated telecoms-related related reasons I’ve never fully grasped. That’s just as well, as the ITU is no friend to impecunious NGOs, who are at best third-class participants in its deliberations, and certainly never participants as of right, only suffrage.
“Washington has made clear that it would oppose any such move, despite widespread demands for changes in the current system.
We will not agree to the United Nations taking over management of the Internet,” said David Gross, a U.S. Department of State official attending a two-week conference preparing for a U.N. World Summit on the Information Society in Tunisia in November.
Reading all this, one canny observer on a list I follow remarked, “The secret to good comedy is timing.”