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EU executive body supports less U.S. influence on Internet

Antone Gonsalves | Feb. 14, 2014
The European Union's executive body has come out in favor of lessening U.S. influence over the Internet infrastructure, a move brought on by revelations of U.S. National Security Agency surveillance of online activity.

Countries pushing for more international control over the Internet have tried to transfer governance to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), which is under the United Nations. Western countries fear ITU decisions would be unduly influenced by countries less supportive of a free Internet.

While the EC does not support ITU control over the Internet, its position, coupled with the international fallout from NSA activities, will likely lead to changes in Internet governance that result in less freedom on the Web, some experts say.

"There's going to be changes. I think they'll probably be bad and I think the Europeans should be careful what they wish for," Paul Rosenzweig, former deputy assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security, said. "The loss of Western support for ICANN is going to lead to greater authoritarian control of the network."


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