European Commission Calls for Less U.S. Influence on the Internet
February 12, 2014 11:59 AM
"We lost I.N.T.E.L.L.I.G.E.N.C.E! I repeat, we have no I.N.T.E.L.L.I.G.E.N.C.E."
(Source: Paramount Pictures)
The NSA revelations have made others fear for their privacy
The National Security Agency's (NSA) spy programs has put some strain on ties
between the U.S. and Europe
, and the European Commission is looking to ratchet back some of America’s power.
from the European Commission said that the EU demands less U.S. influence and greater transparency when it comes to the organization of the internet. For instance, ICANN -- a California-based organization that works with the U.S. government -- among orter things works to coordinate IPv4/IPv6 address spaces and helps to manage the top-level domain name space.
Specifically, the European Commission called for:
Establishment of a clear timeline for the globalization of ICANN and the “IANA functions”; strengthening of the global Internet Governance Forum; launching an online platform for creating transparency on internet policies; a review of conflicts between national laws or jurisdictions that will suggest possible remedies; an ongoing commitment to improve the transparency, accountability and inclusiveness of the multi-stakeholder processes and those who participate in these processes; a commitment to creating a set of principles of Internet governance to safeguard the open and unfragmented nature of the Internet, and a commitment to globalize key decision-making to safeguard the stability, security and resilience of the Internet.
"Europe must contribute to a credible way forward for global internet governance," said Neelie Kroes, Commission Vice-President in charge of telecoms policy. "Europe must play a strong role in defining what the net of the future looks like."
The European Commission is due to vote today on whether more data gathered on the internet is stored on computer servers in Europe, which would give it more oversight.
Last month, Microsoft's general counsel Brad Smith said that customers outside of the U.S. would likely feel more at ease with not only having their data stored in
a non-U.S. facility
, but also choosing the exact location of the data center after the NSA revelations.
The NSA has been under the microscope ever since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked details about the NSA's secret spy programs to the media early last year. It was later revealed that Snowden conned between 20 to 25 NSA employees to
give him their login credentials and passwords
while working at the NSA regional operations center for a month in Hawaii last spring. From there, he used
a cheap Web crawler
to find secret NSA documents, downloaded them, and leaked the information to the media.
Since then, it has been revealed that the NSA taps into tech companies' data centers to search for information specifically on foreign customers in an effort to detect terrorist activity. But the NSA was gathering certain information without any specific reason, leading non-U.S. citizens to fear for their privacy.
"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
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