Forum to be set up on internet governance

Negotiators agreed to set up a forum to continue discussions on Internet governance, a spokesperson of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which is being held in Tunis from Nov. 16-18, said on Wednesday.

After last-minute negotiations, participants agreed to establish an Internet Governance Forum (IGF) to further discuss all Internet issues, Florence Lambert told a news conference.

The IGF, which Greece has offered to host sometime in 2006, will have an initial five-year term to talk about net issues including spam, cyber crimes and other related problems, according to the final text of the agreement.

Under the authorization of the Commerce Department of the United States, the Internet has been run by a nonprofit American company -- Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers ( ICANN), since 1998.

Developing countries argued that the Internet should not be under the control of one single country while the United States refused to give up its dominant role, citing the net has been functioning well ever since its outset.

The agreement on the Internet governance cleared the way for the three-day Tunis summit, which is designed to find solutions to bridge the digital divide between rich and poor nations.

Over 10,000 delegates from 173 countries, including about 50 heads of state and government leaders, business leaders, technology experts and civil society representatives participated in the summit.

Source: Xinhua

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