Who Should Control the Internet?

This week, the world's nations gather to discuss the influence the US wields over the internet and in particular ICANN—the web's logistical core. But who, exactly, should have the keys to the internet?

The U.S. Department of Commerce has already agreed to give up its control of ICANN—the body which coordinates the Internet's global domain name system—and at a meeting at Net Mundial in Brazil this week it will discuss with the world's nations what should happen next. Sadly, though, there's not a lot of accord on what direction to head in.

Some US and EU political figures think the power should remain in American hands; some nations, such as Russia and China, believe that the United Nations should take charge. One compromise, which the US and a number of other countries support, is a multi-stakeholder approach, where private enterprise, academia and government all have a say.

It remains to be seen where responsibility for ICANN and, essentially, the internet will lie. But who do you think should have the keys? [WSJ]

Image by Chris Harrison