U.S. to give it up, ceding control of ICANN to the world


NTIA: Beware the Ides of March.

Yesterday, the U.S. Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) made an announcement the whole world has been waiting for. The NTIA will cede its interest in ICANN -- the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers -- in 2015 to an as-of-yet-unnamed body.

ICANN is chiefly responsible for administering the DNS "domain name" mechanism of the Internet. Domain names (such as www.computerworld.com) are translated into addresses understandable by computers. All in all, most bloggers are hunky-dory with the news, yet some are apprehensive of the next big dogs of DNS.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers register new domains.

Filling in for our humble blogwatcher Richi Jennings, is a humbler Stephen Glasskeys.


Grant Gross faces criticisms formally:

[NTIA] will end its formal relationship with [ICANN] in late 2015, with ICANN developing a new global governance model.


ICANN has faced [criticism]...about the influence of the U.S. government on its operations, but [ICANN officials] said the decision to end the formal relationship was driven...by a longtime understanding that the partnership would be temporary.  MORE


So, Shaun Nichols takes a ride:

The US Department of Commerce is ready to leave the keys to the internet's worldwide DNS system in the hands of non-profit net overseer ICANN.


The DNS system...is used [by internet devices] to convert human-readable domain names...into network addresses...which computers can understand.  MORE


Straight from the acronym's mouth:

To support and enhance the multistakeholder model of Internet policymaking and governance, the [NTIA] today announces its intent to transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multistakeholder community.  MORE


"It's about time," says Stephen Shankland:

It's been a long time coming -- the privatization process began under President Bill Clinton in 1997 -- but now the timing is right for ICANN. In a January interview, ICANN Chief Executive Fadi Chehade [said] "US oversight is not sustainable any longer."  MORE


And Stacey Higginbotham gives up control:

In the wake of Edward Snowden revelations [about NSA spying], world leaders have been calling on the U.S. to relinquish control over the internet.


So what's next for control of the internet if the NTIA doesn't control that contract? That's going [to be discussed] over the next year and half.  MORE


Silenced, Erin Mershon and Jessica Meyers want to say more:

[U.S. officials] have warned about the dangers of ceding ICANN's authority to the International Telecommunication Union, a United Nations agency, fearing countries like Russia and China could use it to allow online censorship.  MORE


Meanwhile, David Murhpy thinks this approach sucks:

The jokes almost write themselves on this one: Senator Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat and chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, does not seem to agree with [the ICANN] approach to extending domain names.


Specifically, he takes issue with one domain name in particular: the proposed .sucks domain, which three companies are currently vying to control.  MORE

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