Government officials on Friday said the United States will give up its role overseeing the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), turning it over to an international group whose structure and administration will be determined over the next year.
Although other countries have been urging the U.S. to relinquish control over ICANN, many businesses are concerned about what form the new organization will take. "We want to carefully transition to something that doesn't just give the power to one stakeholder, but that takes into account the interests of private industry, of large users of the Internet, of the purchasers of domain names, of governments, and of civil society," says American University professor Laura DeNardis.
The U.S. Commerce Department has laid out principles that must govern any new body, including maintaining the openness of the Internet and maintaining its security and stability. Starting March 23, ICANN will conduct a meeting that will be the first step in the transition process. "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," says ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade.
DeNardis says a new governance structure should keep in place the expertise that currently enables the Internet to function smoothly.
From The New York Times
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