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Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom
HR Apprentice. Ex Media Studies student at Swansea University. This blog is a collection of links, articles, academic reference and random thoughts.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

ICANN Watch - Questions that everyone should be asking

To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn't have one global Internet.

ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit partnership of people from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers.read more on the ICANN website

ICANN Watch say however

ICANN says that it is private, non-profit, consensus-based, California corporation charged with technical coordination of the Internet. Some others, including some of the people behind this web site, worry that ICANN has a somewhat manipulable idea of what constitutes a consensus, or that ICANN's close relationship with the U.S. Department of Commerce might make it a "state actor" under U.S. law-- a formally private body that has the same legal obligations to provide due process and non-discrimination as a government agency. read more on ICANN Watch website

This is worrying for the future of a free and open internet. Censorship of the internet is already a highly controversial topic and more people need to be made aware of the role of ICANN and the close relationship it shares with the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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