PAB Magaziner Tries to Calm Europe on Domain Plan

Sascha Ignjatovic (
Mon, 23 Mar 1998 13:25:12 +0100 (MET)

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Magaziner Tries to Calm Europe on Domain Plan
Wired News Report

12:17pm 20.Mar.98.PST
US Internet czar Ira Magaziner is trying to
soothe European concern that a Clinton
administration proposal for revamping the
Internet domain name system will continue US
domination of how the Net is run.

In France to discuss the US plan with French
officials, Magaziner told reporters Thursday
that an independent agency and board that would
be set up under the proposal to supervise the
domain system would be global in nature.

"We want to make the composition of that board
truly international," he said, adding that
various Internet management agencies around the
world and interest groups of Internet users
could name representatives to the board of about
15 members.

Magaziner added, though, that he thinks the new
organization, which he said could be up and
running by next autumn, should be based in the
United States since the global computer network
had its roots there.

"It makes sense to set up the organization
there," he said.

The US proposal steps on a plan launched last
year by a combination of Net technical experts,
telecommunications companies, and other business
interests to create seven new generic top-level
domains to supplement .com, .net, .org, and
others. The International Ad Hoc Committee set
up the Swiss-based Council of Registrars to
supplant Network Solutions Inc., whose exclusive
domain administration contract with the US
government expires this year.

Pre-emption of the council - under the US plan,
it would get to administer one new top-level
domain instead of the planned seven - has
ruffled feathers in Europe. US officials, joined
by some business interests and firms trying to
set up their own domain-name operations, have
opposed the council's systems on grounds ranging
(me)--> ?! from its alleged lack of technical
sophistication to the fact it established a
quasi-official entity with no direct
accountability to individual governments or
other parties.

Magaziner said the United States is against
setting up a system that relies on multilateral
organizations such as the United Nations'
International Telecommunications Union, with
which the council has close links.

"We don't believe the Internet should be given
over to an intergovernmental organization," he

Reuters contributed to this report.