EU vice president Neelie Kroes wants the US to slacken its grip on how the internet is managed in the aftermath of revelations about mass surveillance of innocent citizens.
She said today that reform was needed to make internet governance more inclusive, transparent and accountable around the globe, with particular emphasis unsurprisingly placed on the role the European Union could play in reshaping that control.
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The unelected digital czar proposed four changes during a speech in Brussels today.
"Europe must contribute to a credible way forward for global internet governance," Steelie Neelie said. "Europe must play a strong role in defining what the 'net of the future looks like."
She wants to see "concrete actions" that include the establishment of a clear timeline for the globalisation of ICANN, which is currently contracted by the US government, and a review of conflicts between national laws or jurisdictions that, the commissioner hopes, will suggest possible remedies.
Kroes added that, like the US, she was against UN agency International Telecommunication Union (ITU) managing worldwide control of the internet. She said:
I agree that governments have a crucial role to play, but top-down approaches are not the right answer. We must strengthen the multi-stakeholder model to preserve the internet as a fast engine for innovation.
She opined that a set of principles to "safeguard the open and unfragmented nature of the internet" was needed and added that key decision-making should be wrestled away from the US towards a global commitment on topics such as the coordination of domain names and IP addresses.
The EC said today that the NSA/PRISM scandal that was leaked by master squealer Edward Snowden had "called into question the stewardship of the US when it comes to internet governance."
Kroes had earlier tweeted: "Internet doesn't need censorship / top-down oversight; startups don't need red tape. Need clear rules, level playing field, global balance." ®