By Nick Patience The Global Internet Project (GIP), a group of senior high-tech executives held its latest biannual meeting in Brussels last week. The group aims to advise decision-makers around the world on policies related to the internet. The 13-member GIP is chaired by IBM’s VP internet technology, John Patrick. As well as holding its […]
By Nick Patience
The Global Internet Project (GIP), a group of senior high-tech executives held its latest biannual meeting in Brussels last week. The group aims to advise decision-makers around the world on policies related to the internet. The 13-member GIP is chaired by IBM’s VP internet technology, John Patrick.
As well as holding its own meeting, it also met with officials of the European Commission and conducted a workshop to try to identify internet policy issues that are likely to arise over the next two or three years. The workshop was co-sponsored by the GIP, the EC, MIT’s internet and telecoms convergence consortium, Telecom Italia and Bell Canada. The GIP released some papers expounding its policy positions on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN); caching; and jurisdiction as it pertains to the net.
The GIP strongly supports ICANN and has raised about $400,000 to help support the non-profit organization. Vint Cerf, senior VP at MCI Worldcom, who is also a GIP member claimed that ICANN needs another $1m quickly before an agreed financial support framework can be established he said in s statement. The framework is a reference to ICANN’s attempt to collect a $1 fee for every domain name registered through its accredited registrars. That fee was suspended after protests from some in Congress and the Department of Commerce as well as many in the internet community.
On the thorny issue of jurisdiction in internet commerce, the GIP cautioned the EC against applying current jurisdictional principles to the net. A draft EC directive will be debated at a meeting next month that states that European consumers could appeal to their own governments in disputes with web retailers. That could mean, says Patrick that web-based retailers could potentially face complaints from more than 200 jurisdictions around the world and the GIP is obviously trying to get that changed. He says there is a need for new models for a new medium. Patrick believes there is a potential for for-profit business to start up offering arbitration and mediation services between web retailers and customers in other countries and he doubts whether they need to be regulated in any way by national governments.
The GIP also re-issued its paper on caching, which Patrick calls a success story for the GIP. He claims credit for the organization for getting a paragraph inserted into an EC directive that permits caching if it is technically; necessary. The EC had taken a hard line against it because of worries over copyright infringement.