ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Numbers and Names, is looking to convince the US government that it can overlook the infrastructure of the Internet without governmental assistance.
As a non-profit (with individuals from all of the world) that’s been in operation since 1998, ICANN has worked to connect individuals from around the world via unique identifiers, which help to form one global Internet. These global identifiers known as the domain name system have primarily been maintained in partnership with the US Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).
While this partnership has been somewhat tolerable since its inception in 1998, many in the global community have voiced concern over the predominate US control of the Internet as a western system. With the click of a key, the US government could potentially cripple the global Internet with the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which changes to the Domain Name System’s (DNS) root zone file and IP address allocation––a system coordinated by NTIA.
Given Edward Snowden’s recent revelations regarding US surveillance, both at home and abroad, leaders in the public and private sector realize it’s time to review US governmental involvement in Internet maintenance.
In April of 2014, NTIA stated that it would relinquish its current responsibilities as soon as ICANN produces a proposal that outlines an efficient and seamless transition of responsibilities to the Internet community.
For more information on the proposal and Fadi Chehadé’s, ICANN’s CEO, meeting with Silicon Valley executives please review the linked article on InformationWeek