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Commission's Internet management strategy

The European Commission has set out several policy recommendations for better Internet management, focusing on better coordination of the domain name system and proposals to combat cybersquatting.

In a communication to the Council and Parliament dated 11 April, the Commission...
The European Commission has set out several policy recommendations for better Internet management, focusing on better coordination of the domain name system and proposals to combat cybersquatting.

In a communication to the Council and Parliament dated 11 April, the Commission proposes several measures to put the Internet's infrastructure on a solid base.

Coming on the back of political commitments made by EU governments at the Lisbon summit to take advantage of the new digital economy, the Commission's move is a sign of its resolution to follow through on these commitments.

A Commission statement says the document 'is the latest sign of the European Commission's determination to give business and citizens access to a cheap, world-class communications infrastructure. Getting the right framework for the Internet is central to the Commission's overall strategy for eEurope launched at the end of last year and endorsed in Lisbon.'

Erkki Liikanen, Commissioner for the Information Society, added: 'The Internet's capacity to unleash enterprise is beyond question. We must now show that its infrastructure can be run fairly and effectively, to the benefit of all its users. The Internet needs a light touch from the regulators, but a firm hand to ensure that its business-generating, job-creating potential is encouraged to the full.'

The strategy paper explores ways of resolving disputes between domain names by bringing the registration of country code top-level domains into line with intellectual property and personal data protection principles, and achieving a consensus on registration policies in line with public interest and EU law.

The Commission also intends to establish a new dot.EU domain name, according to transparent criteria.

To make room for more Internet addresses, the paper suggests shifting from addresses that are 32 bits long to address protocol based on 128 bit numbers.

The Communication also recommends improving the relationship between public and private Internet users and ensuring ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the non-profit-making body which oversees the registration of domain names, is run on transparent, globally-representative lines. Members of the ICANN Board should be elected according to globally representative procedures, and ICANN financing by the registries and registrars for domain names and Internet protocol addresses should be transparent and secure, according to the document.

Finally, the Commission suggests facilitating access to the Internet through appropriate EU-leased line pricing policies and the unbundling of the loop.

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