Condoleezza Rice Supports Internet Grassroots Activities

There are some interesting insights on the Internet in documents that were probably not intended for public consumption. In a Financial Times article entitled The Microsoft memos revealed, Ray Ozzie, Chief Technology Officer for Microsoft, was commenting on the grassroots activity that is becoming an important slice of the Internet. He saw this as a competitive element that Microsoft must adapt to.

Now we see the other side of this discussion. The Register reveals a letter from Condoleezza Rice, US Secretary of State, addressed to the EU as represented by the Right Honourable Jack Straw MP, UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. She was writing to support the continued role of ICANN, the US-based non-profit organization that rules over the Internet. She was strongly suggesting that there was no need for any other body as had been mooted by the European Union. The US view won out at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) meeting held in Tunisia in November.

Two sentences in her letter are of particular interest.

The Internet will reach its full potential as a medium and facilitator for global economic expansion and development in an environment free from burdensome intergovernmental oversight and control. The success of the Internet lies in its inherently decentralized nature, with the most significant growth taking place at the outer edges of the network through innovative new applications and services.

That sounds like strong support for those grassroots activities and it comes from a very high authority.

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