Reding praises US decision on ICANN

A top EU official praised the US commitment to pull back from its historic oversight of the Internet as a worldwide conference on the network's future opened this week, an Associated Press report said.

The report quoted EU Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding said she hoped last month's deal would lead to eventual independence for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the non-profit agency in charge of the Internet's key traffic-management technologies.

'We are very satisfied with the work of ICANN. What Europe was objecting was the government oversight of ICANN,' Reding told The Associated Press. 'I think ICANN is doing a perfectly good job as it is. Just leave it alone.'

Ahead of a UN summit on IT last year, Europe insisted that the U.S. government cede responsibility of policing the Internet to some sort of new combination of governments and the private sector, the report said.

The US ultimately kept sole control, through ICANN, and agreed to this week's forum instead.

Last month, the Commerce Department said it would retain oversight of ICANN for another three years, although it agreed to be less actively engaged. Reding called that 'the first step in the right direction.'

The US and other governments, she added, should focus instead on threats like spam and cybercrime, the report further said.