In a move that will anger the United Nations and individual countries who want more say in how the internet is run, the Bush administration says it will not hand over top-level control of the internet.
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The US government has “root” control of the internet, maintaining the master file that lists which top-level domains are authorised to run over the web.
It was previously envisaged by the UN and the European Commission that this control would eventually be transferred to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), which is primarily responsible for managing internet domains.
But US assistant commerce secretary Michael Gallagher said the US intended to keep its top-level domain role and continue to effectively oversee Icann's work.
The UN holds an internet summit in November, where nations are expected to complain that the US has too much say on which domains can be used by countries and organisations.