Diplomats are trying to avoid a showdown over how data on the Internet is named and organised at a summit on the information society in Tunisia.
The contentious issue of American government involvement in the ‘net is top of the agenda.
US-based companies like Yahoo and Google already handle much of the everyday traffic that millions of users worlwide generate everyday.
They are not the problem – instead it is a non-profit American organisation called Icann, or the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, that is creating friction.
Icann makes sure the thousands of networks that make up the Internet talk to each other.
Developing countries, and heavyweights like China and Iran, believe a UN-run body should take over that job.
The European Union agrees that some kind of international body should replace Icann.
Many IT experts do not agree, seeing little benefit from a change.