The internet is at risk of becoming fragmented if online databases that show who owns websites are shut down after the EU’s new data protection law takes effect next month, the head of internet domain organisation ICANN has warned.
The European Commission has suggested that law enforcement authorities could soon have restricted access to the WHOIS database that identifies website owners because the system is on a collision course with the EU’s strict new data protection law.
Researchers and officials working on internet governance have urged EU institutions to help expand the use of internationalised domain names, which contain letters from alphabets including Cyrillic or Greek, or accented letters like in the word “café”.
European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip and ten MEPs signed a joint declaration arguing for non-discriminatory, open internet access during this week's Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Brazil.
Attempts to divest control of the Internet from the US government to a stakeholder group by September might not happen, according to a senior US policymaker, in an early acknowledgment that the issue is likely to be delayed.
SPECIAL REPORT / Officials attempting to reach a deal over the reform of Internet governance have told EURACTIV that delays and the “weaponisation” of the issue in the current US political climate are threatening to ignite an international dispute.
Big Internet companies were the clear winners at a global conference hosted by Brazil on the future management of the Web where most participants agreed it should remain a self-regulated space free of government intervention.
A global conference in Brazil on the future of the Internet in the wake of US spying revelations might be much less anti-American than first thought, after Washington said it was willing to loosen its control.
The European Commission is trying to carve a mediator role for itself in the global debate over the future of internet governance, taking its distance from the US but also from the idea of a United Nations' leadership of the Web, supported by Russia and China.