The world's regional Internet registries (RIRs) have added their weight to call for Internet governance to be privatised.
The RIRs have followed the European Union's demand, proposed by European Commissioner Viviane Reding last month, for the ending of the collaboration agreement between ICANN and the US Department of Commerce.
The RIRs, responsible for IP address allocation within geographic regions, have put out a joint statement saying that it was time for the US government to pull out of control of the Internet: he Internet Domain Name System (DNS) is currently managed by ICANN and the US Department of Commerce under an agreement set to expire on 30 September.
Axel Pawlik, managing director of European RIR, RIPE NCC, told Techworld that there was no cohesion between the EU call and the RIRs' position. "We didn't confer with each other, we seen several ideas from the EU, some of which that we thought we were good, but there's no question of this being coordinated in any way.
Pawlik stressed that all the RIRs - including the north American registry, ARIN, were in full agreement on this issue. He also made it plain that the RIRs had no complaints about the way that ICANN was run, merely the problems that Internet governance structure caused.
"It's purely a political issue," he said. "We have an excellent opinion of ICANN based on the way that it runs things, but it's the political dimension can cause problems," he said.
The RIRs said that the existing Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) should be given great power. "It's purely advisory at the moment," said Pawlik, "there are some countries - notably China - that don't get involved but the GAC could be taken more seriously, giving stakeholders a greater say." He also said that European Commissioner Reding's idea of a G-12 for Internet governance was an interesting idea "but we'd still be arguing as to who the 12 countries would be in 50 years' time."
However, Pawlik is realistic enough to know that the US is not going to give up control of ICANN lightly. "They asked for comments and we've made our views known," he said. "But even with the change of administration, I can't see them loosening that control," he added.