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US government swamped with Net user comments

Category : Internet governance ยท by Jul 10th, 2006

Someone at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is having a tedious first day back at work after the weekend.

The deadline for public comments on the MoU that the US government has with ICANN ended on Friday 7 July, and I have been watching the NTIA’s site since to see what people have been saying.

I was hoping to have written and posted a story about it by now – outlining what the broad outcome and feeling has been. But it’s now 7.30pm my time, and still the comments are going up. You hit refresh every five minutes and another bunch pop up.

Somewhere there is some poor government employee having to go through all the comments and post them up on the site (the NTIA has wisely not made the list automated or it would have been spammed to death).

I am partly responsible for this flood of emailed comments, so if that employee would like a personal apology, just send me an email.

But I have to say, it has proved to be interesting reading. Unfortunately, about a third of the comments so far are not relevant to the whole inquiry process. One-sixth relate to the hot issue of Net neutrality, and one-sixth is broad but unfocussed comment, some of which is interesting but most of which is mindless cliche-ridden commentary.

There is some good stuff though, which I shall now have to leave to an article tomorrow. Hopefully the tireless NTIA employee will manage to get them all up today.

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