US agrees to greater internet autonomy

The EU yesterday hailed a decision by the US government to back down and grant full autonomy by 2009 to the not-for-profit organisation that manages internet domain names, reports The Guardian newspaper.

Viviane Reding, EU information society and media commissioner, said the US commerce department, which until the weekend had unilaterally overseen decisions by the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), would run a much lighter regime for the next three years, the newspaper said.

Icann, set up in 1998 and based in California, will no longer have to report to US authorities every six months, but annually to the whole internet community under arrangements. This took effect on Sunday as a prescriptive agreement lapsed.

Ms Reding was quoted saying, 'Cyber-repression, whether required by governments or supported by commercial companies, is incompatible with Europe's fundamental rights and its open and pluralist model of society.

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