Read the full October 6, 2005 article in The Guardian.
Lead: "After troubled negotiations in Geneva, the US may be forced to relinquish control of the internet to a coalition of governments." At the third and final preparatory meeting for next month's World Summit on the Information Society, the EU came out for a plan to end the U.S. government's unilateral control of the internet and put in place a new body that would now run this revolutionary communications medium. The U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC) years ago created a private company, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) to run the Internet, "but the DoC retained overall control, and in June stated what many had always feared: that it would retain indefinite control of the internet's foundation - its 'root servers', which act as the basic directory for the whole internet." Brazil, China, Cuba, Iran and several African states represented in Geneva insisted the US give up control, and the meeting "was going nowhere", when the EU proposed two stark changes: a new forum that would decide public policy, and a "cooperation model" comprising governments that would be in overall charge. The proposal proved popular with other nations, but not with the U.S. and its refusal to budge apparently strengthened its opponents. "Now the world's governments are expected to agree a deal to award themselves ultimate control. It will be officially raised at a UN summit of world leaders next month and, faced with international consensus, there is little the US government can do but acquiesce."