United States to give up its oversight on domain name assignment

In the wake of an NSA spying scandal which has shaken the faith of many in the United States' dedication to digital privacy, the U.S government has announced that it will be ceding its oversight of ICANN - the organization which manages domain name assignment for every site on the internet.

According to a press release from the NTIA, a branch of the U.S Department of Commerce, the United States seeks to turn over this authority to an international group which will have its structure and administration determined over the course of next year.

The task is currently handled by ICANN, an organization which has managed the assignment of domain names (like .com, .org and .net) since its inception 1998. Now, the U.S has asked ICANN to "convene global stakeholders" and transition the role the U.S government currently plays into a more overarching structure, which will be handled by an outside organization.

According to a statement made by ICANN president Fadi Chehadé, the group will hold its first meeting on the transition on March 23rd in Singapore. ICANN also hopes to include participation from all major governments and internet organizations, as a means of promoting communication and proper development.

"We are inviting governments, the private sector, civil society and other internet organizations from the whole world to join us in developing this transition process. All stakeholders deserve a voice in the management and governance of this global resource as equal partners."

While the United States has faced heavy criticism for its role in global spying and mass data collection, there is no indicator that the controversy is related to this transition. According to the NTIA, the role of the U.S government in the oversight of domain name assignment was always envisioned to be temporary - and since ICANN has "taken steps in recent years to improve its accountability and transparency", the transition can finally happen.

Source: NYTimesImage via Shutterstock - computer screen macro

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18 Comments

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Its called oversight and yes the gov't still have some control over it. Gov't does not move without him, please still in Colorado smoke your dope.

Obama was president in 1997? That's when they planned to start privatizing it. (Never mind that he's a president, not a king, the government does move without him.)

"While the United States has faced heavy criticism for its role in global spying and mass data collection, there is no indicator that the controversy is related to this transition"

Yeah, right!

cork1958 said,
"While the United States has faced heavy criticism for its role in global spying and mass data collection, there is no indicator that the controversy is related to this transition"

Yeah, right!

The us has been planning to turn over control to ICANN for years actually. It's that we've been dragging our feet a few longer then we said not wanting to let go.

Actually it was just Germany that said that (with France backing them) not Europe as a whole. Germany is looking to make their own national net for government (to do with the whole NSA stuff) as slightly mentioned in the article (denial of NSA allegations that prompted this move).

theyarecomingforyou said,
Europe threatens to create its own internet...

Europe couldn't create a fart at a baked bean eating contest.

The last great invention to come out of Europe was the helicopter. But that was accidentally created by two guys trying to invent the pizza. Before that, Europe gave us spaghetti. Or did Marco Polo steal that from the Chinese? They should change their name from the EU to the PU.

Major_Plonquer said,

Europe couldn't create a fart at a baked bean eating contest.

The last great invention to come out of Europe was the helicopter. But that was accidentally created by two guys trying to invent the pizza. Before that, Europe gave us spaghetti. Or did Marco Polo steal that from the Chinese? They should change their name from the EU to the PU.


I'm pleased to note that your membername is not an exaggeration at all

Major_Plonquer said,

Europe couldn't create a fart at a baked bean eating contest.

The last great invention to come out of Europe was the helicopter. But that was accidentally created by two guys trying to invent the pizza. Before that, Europe gave us spaghetti. Or did Marco Polo steal that from the Chinese? They should change their name from the EU to the PU.


EU has a stronger economy than the US of A... we must be doing something right.

Oh yeah and without us, there would be no USA to begin with. Why you being so condesending about something you obviously have no knowledge about.

Major_Plonquer said,

Europe couldn't create a fart at a baked bean eating contest.

The last great invention to come out of Europe was the helicopter. But that was accidentally created by two guys trying to invent the pizza. Before that, Europe gave us spaghetti. Or did Marco Polo steal that from the Chinese? They should change their name from the EU to the PU.

Without EU inventions you wouldn't be here in this forum telling us how the EU hasn't invented anything useful recently.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Www

The last great invention to come out of Europe was the helicopter.

Yeah, and it took the Russian immigrant moving to the (use to be) land of the free, the USA, to make his dream a reality

All I read here is that the US has worked out it can now monitor/intercept the internet, without control of the DNS servers...

I suspect this will end up being a "joint venture" anyway, so the US will still have a "finger in the pie"

This has nothing to do with monitoring.

Up until this time, the US have held the ultimate veto over name assignment which has been considered a point of contention long before the Snowden revelations.