March 30th, 2005

ITU on Internet Governance

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There is an article on CNet with a misleading title The U.N. thinks about tomorrow’s cyberspace

The International Telecommunication Union is one of the most venerable of bureaucracies. Created in 1865 to facilitate telegraph transmissions, its mandate has expanded to include radio and telephone communications. But the ITU enjoys virtually no influence over the Internet. That remains the province of specialized organizations such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN; the Internet Engineering Task Force; the World Wide Web Consortium; and regional address registries.

It is important not to equate UN with ITU (an agency under UN). UN is thinking of Internet Governance but it is charted WGIG. It is also important not to equate ICANN as Internet Governance. ICANN is part of the picture but not the whole. These differences maybe subtle but are world apart in the debate on Internet Governance.

Corrections aside, I am extremely happy to hear Zhou say “I do not consider ICANN an enemy…We tried to support ICANN as far as we could but on the other hand you see that ICANN’s mandate seems to be a little bit unclear…“. Now lets see if ICANN community would also play nice.

btw, my position on ICANN and ITU is that both of them are here to stay so please learn to live with each another (as noted in my previous entry).

Incidently, ICANN also just published Telcordia Report on .NET registry. The winner is Verisign.

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