U.S. Doesn’t Need U.N. to Run the Internet, Senator Says

Sen. Norm Coleman, a Minnesota Republican, introduced on Tuesday a nonbinding resolution intended to keep Internet oversight out of the hands of the United Nations.

A final report issued by the United Nations’ Working Group on Internet Governance in July recommended the U.N. assume global governance of the Internet. Next month, a possible U.N. takeover of the Internet will be discussed at the U.N.-sponsored World Summit on the Information Society meeting in Tunisia, Coleman says.

“There is no rational justification for politicizing Internet governance within a U.N. framework,” Coleman says. “Nor is there a rational basis for the anti-U.S. resentment driving the proposal. Privatization, not politicization, is the Internet governance regime that must be fostered and protected.”

Sen. Coleman’s Sense of the Senate Resolution supports four governance principles: preserve the security of the Internet DNS; recognize each government has a legitimate right to manage their own country code top-level domains; support the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers as the technical manager of the Internet DNS; and support market-based approaches toward the Internet, and private sector leadership.

Coleman’s resolution also addresses the possibility that once Internet governance is transferred from the U.S. to the U.N. or some other managing body, the U.S. would have no more control over information than countries whose national policies block access to information, stifle political dissent, and maintain outmoded communications structures.