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Europe Lobbies To Wrest Internet Control From U.S.

LONDON — The 25-nation European Union (EU) is moving towards a showdown with the U.S. after insisting that control of the Internet be passed from the U.S. to the United Nations, according to reports. The U.S. has maintaind that the Internet is of strategic interest to it and would therefore remain under its control and reiterated that position last week, the reports said.

The debate is escalating ahead of November’s World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), due to be held in Tunisia between November 16 and 18, where the topic of Internet management is on the agenda. It was raised last week in Geneva by the EU in a WSIS preparatory meeting, according to a BBC online report.

The EU proposed that the U.S. surrender control of the management of the Internet’s addressing systems and traffic routing. However, the U.S. rejected the proposal, the report said.

“We will not agree to the U.N. taking over the management of the Internet,” the BBC report quoted Ambassador David Gross, coordinator for international communications and information policy at the U.S. State Department, as saying. “Some countries want that. We think that's unacceptable,” the report also quoted him as saying.

At present any changes to the internet's core addressing systems, the root zone files, managed by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), are approved by the U.S. Commerce Department, the BBC report said.

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