Europeans like conspiracy paranoia. Behold the following, by one Norberto Gallego, in Sunday's Vanguardia:
Washington authorities are concerned every time the possibility of cutting back the unilateral control that they exercise over the management of the Internet, which is strategic for them, is mentioned.
Last year a group of governments, led by China and Brazil, in vain brought up the need to transfer the management of the Internet, once it is mature, to a multilateral body. The American negative is based on two arguments: 1) internationalizing control over the Internet would mean accepting interference from non-democratic governments desirous of cutting back freedom of expression (an evident allusion to China) and 2) a system that connects more than 250,000 networks in the whole world and efficiently manages 30 billion daily connections cannot be left in the hands of 'incompetent bureaucrats.'
Gee, sounds to me like the Americans have a couple of good points here.
Who runs Internet? Above and beyond an undescribable fog of organisms and technical committes, it has been governed since 1998 by Icann, on whose board of directors sit 18 different nationalities, but is subject to California law.
Meanwhile, evidence of parallel diplomacy is accumulating, trying to associate the EU (up to now in an ambivalent position--with the decisions to be taken on the future of Internet. They want to form a homogenous bloc against those who are still demanding that it pass to the control of the UN.
Something that will happen when my mother-in-law grows, uh, hair on her chest.
...After a receptive initial attitude, (Icann) finally declined to approve the creation of an .xxx domain, which would be reserved for websites with pornographic content. It was a notorious backing down to the pressure of fundamentalist Christian groups with good connections in the White House.
That's right, it's those damn Christians again.
From Icann's website:
What is ICANN?
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is responsible for managing and coordinating the Domain Name System (DNS) to ensure that every address is unique and that all users of the Internet can find all valid addresses. It does this by overseeing the distribution of unique IP addresses and domain names. It also ensures that each domain name maps to the correct IP address.
ICANN is also responsible for accrediting the domain name registrars. "Accredit" means to identify and set minimum standards for the performance of registration functions, to recognize persons or entities meeting those standards, and to enter into an accreditation agreement that sets forth the rules and procedures applicable to the provision of Registrar Services.
ICANN's role is very limited, and it is not responsible for many issues associated with the Internet, such as financial transactions, Internet content control, spam (unsolicited commercial email), Internet gambling, or data protection and privacy.
Yep, the CIA's behind it again.