On 1st October, the US government gave up its role of overseeing the technical management of the ‘Internet’s address book’ or rightfully, the IANA functions.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, ICANN is the body which co-ordinates databases related to Internet domain names to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet. This body took over the responsibility to manage global domain names from the United States’ Department of Commerce and its National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) that held the contract until 30th September.
The transition was opposed a number of times by various parties and was successful despite all the bids to block it. An unsuccessful bid to maintain the United States’ Internet superiority was launched through a court case initiated by a number of US states. Alongside this, efforts to block the transition by members of United States Congress were also in vain.
The shift to ICANN represents a move away from governmental Internet control and puts power into the hands of a non-profit organization. Internet users will not be impacted in any fashion as a result of the transition.
Stephen D. Crocker, the Chair of ICANN’s board said :
This transition was envisioned 18 years ago, yet it was the tireless work of the global Internet community, which drafted the final proposal, that made this a reality.
This community validated the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance.
It has shown that a governance model defined by the inclusion of all voices, including business, academics, technical experts, civil society, governments and many others is the best way to assure that the Internet of tomorrow remains as free, open and accessible as the Internet of today.