Just been getting reports from people at Tunis and an agreement has been brokered which appears pretty good. The UN or ITU or some other body will not take over the domain name and IP addressing system, which will remain with ICANN.
An Internet Governance Forum is to be established, but it will be for information, discussion and co-ordination. In areas like spam, identity theft etc it is actually a good thing to have a global body which can co-ordinate on these issues.
The compromise is not ideal, in that there is a risk the Forum could try and exceed its mandate in future years, but overall it looks like sanity prevailed.
ICANN has been far from perfect in how it has conducted itself, and should not see this as a licence to maintain bad habits. A lot of this fuss would not have happened if they had made better progress by now on certain issues. But the basic ICANN model is a good one, and far superior to having some UN body in charge where the private sector would have next to no voice.
For the very very keen followers of this issue, I’ve included below the text of the report. It does still need to be ratified but looks a done deal.
UPDATE: The Register has an article. Seems like Condoleezza Rice helped win the day.
Document WSIS-II/PC-3/DT/15 (Rev. 5)-E
15 November 2005
Chair, Sub-Committee A (Internet Governance) Chapter Three: Internet Governance Chair