New US domain names plan lauded

SPY GAMES::US’ plan to open up domain names functions seen as a reaction to revelations about the NSA’s surveillance programs last year, critics said

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Mar 26, 2014 - Page 4

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications said yesterday that it supported the US Department of Commerce’s decision to allow the global multi-stakeholder community to operate key Internet domain name functions, adding that it would actively join activities launched by such a community to keep up with the latest Internet developments.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the US Department of Commerce announced earlier this month that it plans to terminate its contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in September next year.

The agency added that ICANN has been asked to develop a new global government model to operate the domain name system.

The NTIA has faced mounting criticisms in recent years about the potential influence of the US government on its operations.

Some critics see the NTIA’s move as a reaction following a series of revelations about the US National Security Agency’s Internet surveillance programs last year.

US Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Lawrence Strickling said the timing was right to start the transition process to global governance of the Internet, adding that the agency hopes that ICANN can craft an appropriate transition plan with the multiple stakeholders in the Internet community.

The ministry issued a statement saying that the transition of the NTIA’s role to the global multi-stakeholder community would facilitate a more open and transparent Internet, and would enable more international collaboration on Internet management and enhance its development.

“A multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance will offer a better opportunity via enhanced security, stability and openness,” the ministry said.

“We will continue to pay attention to the NTIA and follow the progress of the transition proposal carried out by ICANN,” it added.

The ministry said it would work closely with the Taiwanese Internet community to actively participate in ICANN’s supporting organizations and advisory committees to follow the development of the Internet.

It would also help maintain a stable, accountable and secure environment for Taiwanese, it said.