Intellectual Property Watch quoted Syracuse School of Information Studies Professor Milton Mueller in an article entitled “Veto Power For Governments Against any Interent Name?” about the recent U.S. proposal that would allow national governments to veto the creation of general top-level domains (gTLD) during the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) selection process.

“Ironically, the US has become the most formidable world advocate of burdensome government oversight and control in internet governance,” Mueller said in criticizing a proposal by the United States Department of Commerce National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA).

The proposal allows any member of ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee to veto the proposal for a gTLD, such as .com, .net or even .gay, for any reason. If no other member objects to the veto, the gTLD will not be created. NTIA stated that the proposal was justified because it would prevent certain countries from blocking entire gTLDs and creating a “fragmented Web.”

But, as Intellectual Property Watch wrote, “As Syracuse University Professor Milton Mueller put it, the US is demanding that national sensibilities of Germany, Vietnam or any other country be applied to domain applicants and internet entrepreneurs in Canada, Russia or anywhere else.”

ICANN, the non profit governing body of domain names, is set to meet in San Francisco on March 13 and March 18, 2011 to discuss a number of suggested gTLDs as well as the government’s proposal.

Mueller is Professor at Syracuse University School of Information Studies, where he teaches courses on information and communication policy and telecommunication management. His research focuses on property rights, institutions and global governance in communication and information industries. His earlier book Ruling the Root: Internet Governance and the Taming of Cyberspace (MIT
Press, 2002) was the first book-length analysis of the political and economic forces leading to the creation of ICANN. Currently, he is doing research on the legal and regulatory responsibilities of Internet service providers, Internet Protocol addressing policy, the policy implications of Deep Packet Inspection technology and the security governance practices of network operators.

Mueller was one of the founders of the Internet Governance Project, an alliance of scholars in action around global Internet policy issues. As co-founder of the Noncommercial Users Constituency he has played a leading role in organizing and mobilizing public interest groups in ICANN. Mueller is on the Advisory Council of Public Interest Registry (.org).