Menu
US says transfer of internet governance will go ahead on Oct. 1

US says transfer of internet governance will go ahead on Oct. 1

Oversight of the internet’s domain name system functions will be transferred to a multistakeholder body

The U.S. will go ahead with its plan to hand over oversight of the internet's domain name system functions to a multistakeholder body on Oct. 1, despite fierce opposition from some lawmakers and advocacy groups.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers operates under contract with the U.S. Department of Commerce the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions that enable the efficient operation of the internet domain name system (DNS). These include responsibility for the coordination of the DNS root, IP addressing, and other internet protocol resources.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an agency located in the Department of Commerce, said in March 2014 that it planned to let its contract with ICANN expire on Sept. 30, 2015, passing the oversight of the functions to a global governance model. NTIA made it clear that it would not accept a plan from internet stakeholders that would replace its role by that of a government-led or intergovernmental organization or would in any way compromise the openness of the internet.

The transfer was delayed to September this year as the internet community needed more time to finalize the plan for the transition. The new stewardship plan submitted by ICANN was approved by NTIA in June.

NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling said Tuesday that the agency had informed ICANN that “barring any significant impediment,” NTIA intends to allow the IANA functions contract it has with ICANN to expire as of Oct. 1, said Strickling, who is also assistant secretary for communications and information.

Last week, ICANN said Public Technical Identifiers, a nonprofit public benefit corporation, had been incorporated in California, to eventually run the IANA functions under contract from ICAAN, after the transition was complete.

The proposed transfer of control of the IANA functions has been criticized by Republicans in Congress and some conservative groups, who are concerned that the transition will hand over control of the internet to governments, including some that have a reputation for stifling online activity.

Last week, 25 advocacy groups asked Congress to sue to enforce riders it has passed on prohibiting spending of taxpayer money on the IANA transition. On Tuesday, one of the groups, TechFreedom, said the move to go ahead with the transition, which would require the time of NTIA staff and thus appropriated salaries, was a "deliberate affront to Congress."

The courts can still pause the transition in September or unwind it after the contract expires, said Berin Szóka, president of TechFreedom, in a statement. He raised the possibility that private parties could sue if Congress doesn't. The groups, which are opposed to rushing the transition, have said that key issues about the transfer are "not expected to be fully resolved until summer 2017."

NTIA said in an accompanying FAQ on Tuesday that both NTIA and ICANN have formally affirmed that the U.S. government is the administrator of .mil and .gov and any changes made to the top-level domains can only be made with the express written approval of the U.S. government. Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, has introduced legislation that stated that the .gov and .mil top-level domains are U.S. property and asked the government to secure in the transition the exclusive ownership, control and use of the domains in perpetuity.

Under the transition proposal presented by ICANN, governments will continue to have an advisory role through the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). There is nothing that increases the role of governments over the DNS or ICANN as an organization, and the ICANN bylaws retain the prohibition on government officials serving as voting board members, NTIA said.  


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP has honoured its leading partners in New Zealand during 2018, following 12 months of growth through the local channel. Unveiled during the fourth running of the ceremony in Auckland, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of standout Kiwi partners.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments