U.S. Gives Up Power Over Internet in Favor of Private Sector


The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the U.S. Commerce Department announced that it will not extend its contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The contract between the two parties officially ends in September 2015. The U.S. will actually give up its control over the system for assigning web addresses.

However, there are a few conditions. The first of them is that NTIA is willing to commit to its decision only if its role is assigned to a non-profit organization. According to the corporation, it will not accept a proposal in which NTIA’s tasks are given to an inter-governmental or government-led organization. That means that ICANN will need to come up with a new solution for the governing of the global Internet.

In addition, the transition needs to receive the approval of the majority of governments, companies, as well as the Internet users. Also, the organization which will replace NTIA has to continue to offer stability, security and resiliency of the Internet DNS (Domain Name System).

Another condition listed in the announcement is that the Internet must remain open to the public. The U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration is firm that it will not agree to give up its role to governance system that is run entirely by one or more governments.

NTIA also states that its contract with ICANN has always been temporary. The Administration signed it during the late 1990s and received the right to govern and operate the functional related to IANA (the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority). In addition, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration says that it is “committed’ to this change. Moreover, according to it, this transaction would enable the private sector to take control over the management of the Domain Name System.

Lastly, NTIA explains that it plans to focus on the transaction over the next few months. Nevertheless, the Administration assures that it will also continue to perform its current rule until its contract with ICANN expired in 2015.


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