13 Nov 2007

Niue government criticised over internet stance

3:47 pm on 13 November 2007

The government of Niue is being called on to build a positive relationship with the company administering the DOT NU domain name and end a misdirected campaign to assert sovereignty.

The government's own commission of inquiry has dismissed the claims and admonished its advisers.

The man who heads the Internet Users Society, Niue, which administers Dot NU, American-based William Semich says the push to assert sovereignty is tragic because it misdirects the government's energy from building a positive relationship.

He says it has cost the country and the Internet Users' Society about half a million US dollars.

"just in terms of unnecessary travel, unnecessary legal expenses, public relations expenses. The whole commission of inquiry probably cost around three hundred thousand dollars all told, and all it proved was that the information that the Government's advisers had given them in order to create the false idea that they had sovereign rights, was false. It was just really a tragic misuse of our money and the Government of Niue's money."

William Semich says the Society has contributed about three and a half million US dollars to Niue in the past eight years, mostly to support the island's internet service.