US retains control of Internet Governance

In addition a new body under the United Nations has been created to incorporate the voice of all governments and businesses

A recent decision at the United Nations World Summit on Information Society allows the United States to continue its control over the domain name system and the guidance of online traffic.


In an effort to internationalize the over-sight of the domain name system the European Union and other countries have been pushing unilateral control away from the United States and to an international body.

Although the United States Department of Commerce retained control, those in support of internationalization see the discussions and decision as a step forward and feel in the long term the U.S will be obligated to negotiate about the structure of internet governance.

The final agreement calls for increased cooperation between governments, stating governments should not be involved in “day-to-day technical and operational matters that do not impact on international public policy issues.” The U.S. also agreed “countries should not be involved in decisions regarding another country’s country-code Top-level domain.” Thus, individual countries will have greater control over their own domains, such as China's .cn or Germany’s .de. In the past disputes arose between national governments and the independent administrators assigned to manage these domains by ICANN.

While most participants from the Summit, including the EU, view the agreement as a positive change, David Gross, coordinator of internet policy at the US State Department, views the agreement as a continuation of status quo stating, "there's nothing new in this document that wasn't already out there before."

The US has argued against creating an international oversight body, saying bureaucratic red tape would impede innovation.

Also stipulated within the agreement is the creation of a new international body set to meet early next year, giving more countries and businesses a stronger say in how the internet works.

It looks like the U.S. Department of Commerce will have just as much control as it does now for the foreseeable future.