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EU Official: US Should Give up Oversight of Internet

The European Union's information and media chief is calling on U.S. President Barack Obama to give up America's oversight of the Internet.

EU Information and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding, in a statement, called for the severing of links between the non profit U.S. corporation running the Internet and the U.S. government.

The non-profit group, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), makes the major decisions governing operation of the Internet. It operates under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce that expires at the end of September.

The EU commissioner said a government department of only one country should not have oversight of a system used by hundreds of millions of people in countries worldwide.

She suggested transforming ICANN into an independent organization to be monitored by a 12-member international board.

She suggested that the 12 member oversight group be made up of representatives of two countries each from North America, South America, Europe and Africa and three from Asia and Australia. The chairman of ICANN would be a non-voting member. International Organizations involved with the Internet could get observer status.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.