EU Pleased with New ICANN Agreement

The EU applauded the United States government's moves to make the Internet's domain name organization independent Monday, but said it would monitor the process. On Friday, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) said it had signed a three-year extension with the U.S. Department of Commerce.

In the new agreement, ICANN is no longer required to file reports with the Commerce Department twice a year, or have its work dictated to by department officials. Several international governing bodies have criticized ICANN for being too close to the US Government.

The most recent incident would be the ".xxx" domain, which was struck down in May. While ICANN claimed that politics did not play a part in the decision, governments including the EU said the organization caved in to conservative groups and the Bush administration's opposition.

Under this latest agreement, ICANN would ostensibly become a private company in 2009. "The Department reaffirms its policy goal of transitioning the technical coordination of the DNS to the private sector, in a manner that promotes stability and security, competition, bottom-up coordination, and representation," the new agreement reads.

"We welcome that ICANN will be set free in a process over the next three years," European Commission spokesman Martin Selmayr told a news briefing Monday. However, the EC said it would follow developments closely to ensure the transition takes place.

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