11.2005 Political Oversight of ICANN: A Briefing for the WSIS Summit

[Abstract]

The Internet Governance ProjectWSIS seems to be foundering on the issue of “political oversight” of the Internet. IGP issues a new paper that clarifies the issues and provides concrete proposals for moving forward. We explain why WSIS must separate discussion of the role of governments in setting policy for all Internet issues from discussion of the narrower problem of ICANN’s oversight. By means of a careful analysis of the contractual instruments used by the U.S. government to supervise ICANN, the paper shows how the problem of U.S. unilateral oversight can be addressed in a way that is both politically feasible and avoids threatening the stability or freedom of the Internet.Suggested citation: Internet Governance Project, “Political Oversight of ICANN: A Briefing for the WSIS Summit” (November 1, 2005). Internet Governance Project. Paper IGP05-009. Available at http://internetgovernance.org/pdf/political-oversight.pdf

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