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IST Professor Milton Mueller to serve as expert panelist

Edward Byrnes

Milton Mueller, a professor in the School of Information Studies (IST) at Syracuse University, has been selected as a member of an elite group of experts to participate in the International Telecommunication Union's (ITU) Workshop on Internet Governance, to be held Feb. 26-27 in Geneva, Switzerland. Mueller will present a paper on behalf of SU's Internet Governance Project, involving professors Mueller and Lee McKnight of IST, and John Mathiason of SU's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

The workshop was called in response to the World Summit on the Information Society's (WSIS) decision to create a Working Group on Internet Governance to investigate the future of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and other international policy issues associated with the rise of the Internet, such as spam and content regulation. All discussions and results from the workshop will be compiled into a report and communicated to the entire ITU membership and submitted to the appropriate ITU decision-making bodies for further consideration.

Mueller will join other internationally known experts and professionals in the field, including Paul Vixie, president of the Internet Systems Consortium, and John Palfrey, executive director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at the Harvard Law School.

Mueller recently published Ruling the Root: Internet Governance and the Taming of Cyberspace (MIT Press 2002), a study of the origins of ICANN. Mueller uses property rights economics to analyze the domain-name wars and the formation of a global governance regime that leverages the technical bottleneck of the domain name system root to exert centralized control over Internet users and the domain name registration industry. He has also published books and scholarly journal articles on telecommunications development in China, digital convergence, and several research papers on radio spectrum property rights, interconnection and telecommunications liberalization.

As the United Nations' specialized agency for telecommunications, the ITU's role is to monitor the development of the information society and to extend the benefits of advances in telephony and new information and communication technologies across the globe. The ITU's membership, which represents a cross-section of the telecommunications and information technology industry¯from the world's largest manufacturers and carriers to small, innovative new players¯includes 189 member countries, including the United States, China, France, Italy and Germany; and more than 740 sector and associate members, including AT&T, the Boeing Company, Warner Bros., Microsoft, CBS Inc., and Xerox.

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