Thursday, 15 September 2016

After 20 Years, U.S. Government Ready To Hand Over DNS Stewardship to Private Sector

It has taken almost two decades, but the U.S. Government is ready to transition their stewardship role for the domain name system’s (DNS) technical functions, known as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions, to the private sector. Throughout this period the U.S. government has always had the final say on how the DNS is controlled.

The move, endorsed by the U.S. President Barack Obama but resisted by many Republicans, follows 18 years of work by the global internet multi-stakeholder community and meets criteria the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) outlined in 2014.

ICANN was established in 1998 with, among other roles, the task of assigning the operators of top-level domains (TLDs) and managing internet number resources but the NTIA, part of the Department of Commerce, could always have the final say.

On 1 October 2016, ICANN will be handed what are sometimes referred to as the “keys to the internet” and although ICANN will still be headquartered in Los Angeles, oversight will transfer to the global stakeholder community.

“The internet’s multistakeholder community has risen to the challenge we gave them to develop a transition proposal that would ensure the Internet’s domain name system will continue to operate as seamlessly as it currently does,” said Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling. “The plan developed by the community will strengthen the multistakeholder approach that has helped the Internet to grow and thrive, while maintaining the stability, security, and openness that users across the globe depend on today.”

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