Heated Debates Over US-Free Internet10/06/2009 by Intellectual Property Watch 1 CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Much of our best content is available only to IP Watch subscribers. We are a non-profit independent news service, and subscribing to our service helps support our goals of bringing more transparency to global IP and innovation policies. To access all of our content, please subscribe now.Warnings about a possible split of the single root zone underlying the global internet have been made by internet governance experts outside the United States following a hearing of the US congressional Subcommittee on Communication Technologies and the Internet on the future of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the internet’s technical oversight body. If the US administration extends the joint project agreement it has with ICANN this year, it might well result in “the emergence of alternative naming and numbering systems” and a further push for the “establishment of intergovernmental internet governance bodies,” warned internet governance expert Wolfgang Kleinwaechter.Not only is a French project already promoting “Competitive Governance Arrangements for Namespace Services,” but also some future applicants for new generic top-level domains are considering testing their potential zones based on routing via local internet service providers, according to sources.ICANN’s departing CEO and President Paul Twomey was questioned hard at the 4 June congressional meeting about ICANN’s effectiveness in fighting fraud in the internet domain name system (DNS) and the high budget surplus of the nonprofit organisation. Twomey has appealed to Congress to send a signal of confidence in private-sector-led DNS management by letting expire the US-ICANN joint project agreement and continuing to exercise its oversight function through the joint agreement on the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) function, which is key to changes in the internet structure.ICANN was created in 1998 under an agreement with the US Commerce Department National Telecommunications and Information Administration that ICANN would gradually become fully independent. The next deadline for ending the agreement and setting ICANN free is later this year. Support for expiration of the joint project agreement (JPA) also came from highly respected internet pioneer Vint Cerf and the Internet Society. Answers to the US government notice of inquiry about the transition are not yet completely posted, as some European governments had filed individual comments, according to one government source.Separately, there are reports that a new challenge has been brought to the monopoly the US company VeriSign has over the .com domain, by far the dominant internet suffix. The monopoly is arranged through contract with ICANN and the US government.NTIA statement to Congress here.Comments to NTIA on the domain name system transition here.Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Related"Heated Debates Over US-Free Internet" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.