Internet governance is the main focus of UN sponsored meetings currently being held in Geneva and the critics there are lashing out at the current internet domain authority ICANN.
"Currently, a key part of the Internet is managed by the Internet Corporation on Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a not-for-profit organisation originally set up in California under contract to the US Department of Commerce.
ICANN says it merely ensures that Internet addresses are registered and that it has nothing to do with what contents is transmitted through these. It adds that since it does the job rather well, it should retain this function. Some critics, however, believe ICANN is not as efficient as it could be particularly as regards making a pro-active contribution to overcoming the digital divide.
More fundamental to opponents of ICANN, who are drawn mainly from developing countries, is that the organisation is still technically only answerable to the government of a single country - the US. There is always an implied threat to the sovereignty of the nation-state if a corporation constituted in another country has control over a critical resource. Critics say that as the Internet is an international asset, it should be controlled by an international body preferably a body within the United Nations framework. One international body already dealing with an area of Internet governance is the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), which regulates cybersquatting. This is when an opportunistic party is first to buy the name of a web address such as "SouthAfrica.com" which should arguably be owned by the country concerned, and a decision has to be made about who is entitled to the domain."