US To Turn Over Control Of The Internet With ICANN

Ownership of the Internet is about to undergo a massive change, as the U.S. is planning to cede sole control of Internet governance to the global private sector. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that it will fulfill the mandate outlined back in the late 1990s that the agency would eventually phase out its administrative role over the DNS (Domain Name Server) and its interest in ICANN and place it in the hands of “global stakeholders”.

“The timing is right to start the transition process,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Lawrence E. Strickling in a press release. “We look forward to ICANN convening stakeholders across the global Internet community to craft an appropriate transition plan.”

U.S. Chamber of Commerce
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

ICANN has the keys to the domain name system and, according to the NTIA, is “uniquely positioned” to get the transition moving. The NTIA stated that the transition proposal will include the following:

-Support and enhance the multistakeholder model;
-Maintain the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet DNS;
-Meet the needs and expectation of the global customers and partners of the IANA [Internet Assigned Numbers Authority] services; and,
-Maintain the openness of the Internet.

The current contractual situation between the NTIA and ICANN will expire in September 2015, and it’s clear that the contract won’t be renewed. The NTIA’s role was always supposed to be temporary, so it’s appropriate that after 15 or 16 years, the time is right to enact the change.

It’s ironic that we often don’t like the feeling that a powerful entity (i.e. Facebook and Google) holds onto control, but when control over something important to us is ceded, it can be kind of an uncomfortable feeling. There is often a certain comfort in knowing that someone is in charge.

On the other hand, there’s an argument to be made that the fumbling, bumbling government who alternately can’t figure out how to make a website and lets its NSA spy on the whole world via the Internet shouldn’t be the primary steward of one of the most important resources on earth.

Sound off in the comments; do you see this development as good news, bad news, or no news?
Via:  NTIA
Tags:  Internet, NTIA, ICANN, DNS, Misc, IANA
ConnieSKirkpatrick 9 months ago

How is that going to change the way we use it?

RCastaneda 9 months ago


JaySleven 9 months ago

Hard to tell, I don't think we will openly see any substantial changed. But we'll just have to see if there only any changed to privacy and security

childishradio 9 months ago

I didn't even know somebody could own the interwebz. Having the government hands the reigns over to private sector just makes me believe more and more that the Syndicate game is going to become reality.

ECouts 9 months ago

How about several people get together and buy control of it to ensure that the internet stays free? That way, we can move forward with better DNS and "evolve" the internet! Let's give it over to ThePirateBay and see what happens! ^_^

CliffVincent 9 months ago

it shall become a wild west world of debauchery... so i guess it wont

BritCharles 9 months ago

When does anyone cede power voluntarily? Whatever's really going on, it's gotta be worse.

SNeese 9 months ago

If it goes through the usual UN bureaucracy, it is going to be a total mess. Some 25 star general will probably be place in charge. The Technical Director will be from Syria or Zimbabwe. IT support will come from Iran. Russia will provide security. It is going to be an absolute disaster. :-(

sevags 9 months ago

Awesomely worded last paragraph Seth.

I'm fine with the change since it's going to be run by a global governing body rather than say china.. This does mean since our government won't be in control it means that they can go against any new policies icann instates or filter content to the US just as china does.

koltirons 9 months ago

this is scary as hell, a global government jsut means it takes less people to control more people an the internet is arguably the strongest medium possible

JakeMetica 9 months ago

what will happen now?

mike coyne 9 months ago

I did saw news on TV. I am wonder what will happen? I wont be worry about that . We (million of people) need internet for email , shop online, Facebook, etc AND our Freedom and protect our praivcy. I am sure everything will work out for us. We will find out about that in newspaper or on news on TV.

Bigbadwolf 9 months ago

So the government gets out of the process but keeps on spying. :) Also they turn it over to business that will in turn jack up the price. Where do we win in this process.? :)

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