Exec says UN not likely to 'control' Internet

The United Nations will not try to take the lead in determining the future of the Internet, the head of the UN telecommunications agency, quoted by an Associated Press report, said

The Associated Press report quoted Hamadoun Toure, a Malian who was elected director-general of the International Telecommunication Union in November, as saying that the agency would be just one of many organizations involved in shaping the Internet's development.

'It is not my intention to take over the governance of the Internet,' Toure said. 'There is no one single issue that can be dealt with by one organization alone.'

He said the ITU would work with other agencies such as the quasi-independent Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, which manages the day-to-day flow of data across the Internet from its California headquarters and oversees key rules that govern how computers communicate, the Associated Press report said.

Control over these rules has been a major point of contention between governments, with some developing countries demanding complete independence of ICANN from the US government, perhaps with the UN-affiliated body taking control, the report said.

Other countries have threatened to set up a parallel infrastructure that could lead to multiple, incompatible Internets.

'We have to avoid a 'cyberwar' between governments,' Toure said, adding that regulation should be as light as possible and adapt to local conditions.