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December 10, 2003Live hands? US journalist, Jeff Jarvis is not here - but we thought we knew what question he'd be asking the US Ambassador (and head of the US delegation to the summit) at today's press conference (and here) . So we asked it for him.
Daily Summit: "Ambassador Gross. There's a lot of anger back in the US about what are seen as predatory attempts by the UN to wrest control of the internet from ICANN. Jeff Jarvis yesterday said the UN would have to prise the internet out of 'dead American hands.' How do you reassure the folks back home that the internet is safe?" (laughter)
Ambassador Gross: "The documents reflect very much where we are on that subject. Under the Secretary-General's good offices, a study will be done to look at a variety of issues - but only a study will be done. That is the only action that is contemplated. There is really nothing other than that that will come out of these documents.
"Of course, the issue of how the internet will evolve is something that many people can play a role in today. I am always a little confused by statements [that suggest the US has exclusive control over the internet]. The way that it works now is that it is multi-stakeholder. There's a direct role for governments through ICANN and other processes. There's a direct role for individuals to play from around the world.
"In addition, it's important to realise that ICANN is a very important organisation, but it is merely one part of a much larger puzzle. It does certain technical things, but there are many things it doesn't do. It is a misperception on the part of many that ICANN is internet governance."