On Tuesday 15 July government representatives at the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society will debate a draft text calling for a new inter-government body set up to run the internet.
Maria Farrell, e-business, IT and telecoms commission at the ICC, said, "Inter-government control would be a disaster because technical co-ordination of the internet needs to be flexible and responsive to all stakeholders."
Farrell said there was also a risk that an inter-governmental organisation could get involved in legal and political wrangling.
Addressing a meeting of e-business users and internet service providers this week, the head of the ICC e-business, IT and telecoms commission, Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, said, "Without all stakeholders' full and equal involvement in the technical co-ordination of the internet, there is a real risk the internet will degrade and fail to reach its full potential as a global communications and business medium."
Management of the internet is the responsibility of Icann, a private organisation. It manages internet domain names and the route domain name servers, which provide every domain server on the internet with the IP address for a website. Without the management and development of this core service, users would be unable to connect to the internet.