Following news of NSA surveillance operations along with years worth of concern regarding US control over the internet, the EU has set forth new proposals calling for globalization of the net. Among suggestions of a much more global internet management system the EU is pushing for more accountability and transparency about how various aspects of the internet are handled.
Many of those aspects are run by American non-profit organization ICANN. Previously, other nations like Russia and China along with the UN backed International Telecommunication Union have proposed changes be made in the way of moving responsibility away from ICANN, but were shut down by US, UK, Canada and Australian decision makers.
The EU’s proposal asks that a “clear timeline for the globalization of ICANN” be set out. As the US government contracted ICANN is still in control of top-level domain name assignments among other things, the proposals ask that clear rules be introduced in order to create a transparent, global and level playing field. While there are concerns, especially after wide spread NSA surveillance activities made headlines, that a decentralization of this kind could lead to internet censorship in some places, the EU is also calling for measures to be put in place in order to “safeguard the open and unfragmented nature of the Internet.”
“The next two years will be critical in redrawing the global map of Internet governance,” European Commission VP Neelie Kroes said. “Europe must contribute to a credible way forward for global internet governance. Europe must play a strong role in defining what the net of the future looks like.” Reports say that at this time the proposal is still seeking support from both European Parliament and the Council of the EU.