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Europe calls time on US stewardship of the internet

ZDNet - The European Commission has pledged to produce a timeline for the globalisation of ICANN, the US-headquartered body that manages top level domains on the net.

The European Commission has published proposals aimed at weakening US control of key parts of the internet.

According to the EC, revelations about "large-scale surveillance" by the US National Security Agency have "called into question the stewardship of the US when it comes to internet governance".

In a document, published yesterday, the EC proposes to "establish a timeline for the globalisation of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers" (ICANN), the US-headquartered body that manages the top level domains, such as .com and .net, and the coordination of internet address spaces, IPv4 and IPv6.

ICANN is headquartered in California and under contract with the US Department of Commerce to manage the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), whose responsibilities include overseeing allocation of IP addresses worldwide.

The EC proposals also pledge that the commission will "identify how to globalise the IANA functions, while safeguarding the continued stability and security of the domain-name system".