The U.S. role in global internet governance

Derrick L. Cogburn, Milton Mueller, Lee Mcknight, Hans Klein, John Mathiason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A coalition of countries criticized the United States' unilateral control of the Internet's domain name system (DNS) at the September 2005 preparatory meeting for the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), and proposed the establishment of a multinational Council to supervise it. In 1998 the US government had established an innovative approach to Internet governance by subcontracting these functions to a private not-for-profit corporation with international participation, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The basic idea was to make Internet governance international, not through a traditional intergovernmental organization but through a private nongovernmental organization. As a private yet global organization, with regulatory and taxing powers over the domain name supply industry, ICANN has potentially expansive powers over Internet users. It needs government oversight for lawful, rule-bound work. Internationalizing such oversight means that no single government can subject Internet governance to its national self-interest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-14
Number of pages3
JournalIEEE Communications Magazine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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