RealNews

United Nations ponders Net's future

The United Nations wants a big piece of the Internet. At a summit here this week, delegates from around the world gathered to take a preliminary step toward U.N. involvement in some of the areas that are bedeviling Internet users and governments alike, including spam, network security, privacy and the regulation of the technical underpinnings that control the sprawling global network. U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan set the tone in a speech Thursday, criticizing the current system through which Internet standards are set and domain names are handled, a process currently dominated by the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan. Such structures “must be made accessible and responsive to the needs of all the world’s people,” Annan said. On Friday, the summit will hear recommendations from five different U.N. working groups on topics including everything from domain names to root server operation to free speech and intellectual property to privacy. Full Story

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