As the Internet Corp for Assigned Names and Numbers is feeling more international pressure over its role in managing parts of the internet’s infrastructure, it received mixed messages this week from Italy, which is hosting ICANN’s quarterly stakeholder meeting.
Lucio Stanca, Italian minister for innovation and technologies, gave a generally positive view of ICANN in an address to the gathering in Rome yesterday. But, judging from a transcript of his speech, Stanca would like to see ICANN technically focused.
Italy has a clear position on internet governance, he said. Government must be involved only when public policy issues are at stake, but it is not the role of government to manage [the] internet or to interfere in its free development.
When Italy was on its rotation as president of the EU last December, Stanca and European Commissioner Erkki Liikanen were two of the chief European Union representatives to World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva.
WSIS was organized by the UN and International Telecommunications Union to create a Declaration of Principles and Plan of Actions for the global coordination of internet issues, such as access in developing nations and the underprivileged.
Early drafts of the Plan called for the ITU to take over ICANN’s functions, but the document ultimately agreed upon by about 200 participating nations instead called for an ITU-led working group that would define and recommend action on internet governance.
We believe that ICANN should continue to play a central role in the international debate and in particular within the Working Group called for by the Geneva Summit, Stanca said yesterday.
We recognize that ICANN’s technical activities often involve policy implications that need to be addressed with the active participation of all stakeholders, he said, apparently acknowledging ICANN is often seen as expanding beyond technical coordination.
This article is based on material originally published by ComputerWire