Press Release | 18.03.1998

Europe a Footnote of the Internet

 On 20 February 1998, the US government published a green paper about the reorganisation of central Internet functions. The main issue in the public's eye has been the assignment and administration of domain names. The paper, however, is of a much broader scope: it concerns itself with the future organisation of all central coordinative functions in the Internet.

If the proposals of the US government were implemented, then the balance of power in the Internet would clearly be shifted towards US companies. The efforts of Europeans to catch up in the high tech markets telecommunications and software development would be seriously in danger.

The three main factors of the Internet's success are:  worldwide unique assignment of numerical IP-addresses

central domain name administration and operation of the root name servers

common, non-proprietary protocol standards

The current US proposal can lead to the US being assigned exclusive judicial authority over the Internet. It is to be suspected that in the future American companies will dictate how electronic commerce works through the development of their own standards.

DENIC eG welcomes the critical stance of the EU and supports their work by way of taking part in the Coordination of European Top Level Domain Registries (CENTR), whose goal it is to bring European interests to bear.

Due to the economical implications of the pending decisions DENIC eG asks the German government to take part in the regulation and legitimization of Internet bodies and to represent the interests of the German economy and the German Internet users.

On 23 March 1998, the deadline for filing comments to the proposals of the US government expires. If we don't take part in writing the main story, we will in the future be a footnote.

Important links:

The green paper of the US government

Comments of the EU concerning the green paper of the US government

Position of the EU concerning the future organization of the Internet

Comments of the European Top Level Domain Registries concerning the green paper

Comments in reference to the green paper should be sent to:

Karen Rose,
 Office of International Affairs,
 National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Room 4701,
 US Departement of Commerce, 14th and Constitution Avenue,
 N.W., Washington D.C.20230