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New Regime For Internet Governance, Breaking From US Oversight, Proposed

Internet 031116

The gatekeeper of Internet addresses has submitted to the U.S. Government a plan developed by the international Internet community that will lead to global stewardship of some key technical Internet functions, breaking from US oversight.

The plan, submitted Thursday to the U.S. National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA) by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Board Chair Dr. Stephen D. Crocker, aims to maintain Internet governance under a multi-stakeholder model which avoids control of the online ecosystem by any single governmental body.

Dr. Crocker says that if the plan is approved by the U.S. Government, "we will have reached an historic moment in the history of the Internet."

If the US government approves the plan, then a contract between ICANN and the US government will expire on September 30 as is planned.

The plan provides a comprehensive package to transition the U.S. Government's stewardship of these technical functions, called the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority), which are critical to the Internet's smooth operation. It also proposes ways to enhance ICANN's accountability as a fully independent organization. The transition is the final step in the long-anticipated privatization of the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS), first outlined when ICANN was incorporated in 1998.

The proposal, crafted with input from businesses, academia, governments and others, was endorsed at an ICANN board meeting in Morocco Thursday.

ICANN is a nonprofit organization that is responsible for coordinating the maintenance and methodologies of several databases, with unique identifiers, related to the name spaces of the Internet - and thereby, ensuring the network's stable and secure operation.

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