A View from David Appell

U.S. Insists on Internet Control

I’m all in favor of the internationalization of the Internet, so I was somewhat dismayed to read about the U.S.’s insistence on retaining control of the main Internet routers. “We will not agree to the U.N. taking over the management…

  • September 30, 2005

I’m all in favor of the internationalization of the Internet, so I was somewhat dismayed to read about the U.S.’s insistence on retaining control of the main Internet routers.

“We will not agree to the U.N. taking over the management of the Internet,” said Ambassador David Gross, the U.S. coordinator for international communications and information policy at the State Department. “Some countries want that. We think that’s unacceptable.”
Sure, the U.S. and its minions have done a good job so far, but the Net has progressed a great deal since the early days and it’s time (if not now, when?) for truly international governance for a international network–it’s a matter of basic fairness and inclusion. Then there’s a little numbering problem to deal with:
Some countries have been frustrated that the United States and European countries that got on the Internet first gobbled up most of the available addresses required for computers to connect, leaving developing nations with a limited supply to share.

But as it does so often these days on so may treaties, the United States insists on going its own way and exerting its own power. Someday, I suspect, we’re going to wish we had played a little nicer.

Tech Obsessive?
Become an Insider to get the story behind the story — and before anyone else.
Subscribe today

Uh oh–you've read all five of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium

$179.95/yr US PRICE

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Premium.

  • Insider Premium {! insider.prices.premium !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Our award winning magazine, unlimited access to our story archive, special discounts to MIT Technology Review Events, and exclusive content.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

    First Look. Exclusive early access to stories.

    Insider Conversations. Join in and ask questions as our editors talk to innovators from around the world.

You've read of free articles this month.