U.S. government is going to loosen its grip over the Internet by handing over administration and control under a gradual period of 18 months. The expiration of contract in between Department of Commerce, which kept a watch on all sales and assignments of Web domains for almost 15 years, and Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has resulted in government to hand over the control within among stakeholders.
The handover will be done to stakeholders including the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), the Internet Society (ISOC), and Regional Internet Registries to oversee IP distribution and domain name registration.
For transition to take place after the expiration of contract in year 2015, an independent, international oversight authority will be established to ensure trust of the world.
Lawrence Strickling, the head of the National Telecommunications & Information Administration at the Commerce Department said, “We will not accept a proposal that replaces the NTIA role with a government-led or an intergovernmental solution”.
ICANN, a non profit based in California, defines Domain Name System (DNS) and guidelines for connection in between two computers. It also provides a human readable name to the numbers in Internet Protocol or IP, making internet browsing more convenient.
Explaining its not because of Edward Snowden, Strickling said, “There is no question that Edward Snowden’s revelations have stimulated the dialog. I attended a couple of sessions at the World Economic Forum about security risks. I saw leader after leader of major companies like GE sincerely worried about the trust factor on the Internet. And we have the Target situation. The trust in the ecosystem has been punctured a little bit.”
Fadi Chehade, president of ICANN also said that, “”We thank the U.S. government for its stewardship, for its guidance over the years, and we thank them today for trusting the global community to replace their stewardship with the appropriate accountability mechanisms.”