U.S. to relinquish part of its controlling role in managing the DNS

It is almost axiomatic in Washington, that the bureaucracy buries news of which it is not proud with a release late in the day on a Friday afternoon. Though it is a bit harsh to say so, one suspects that the Department of Commerce felt that way about its announcement yesterday that the United States would relinquish part of its controlling role in managing the Internet Domain Name System. 

The United States government has asked the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to begin drafting a proposal to transition the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) responsibility of domain name system (DNS) administration away from the United States. Stepping away from governance of ICANN would mark the final phase of DNS privatization that had been set in motion in 1998 allowing ICANN to operate independently. Conditions for the transition proposal must contain “broad community support” and address four outlined principles. The proposal must “support and enhance the multistakeholder model; maintain the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet DNS; meet the needs of expectation of the global customer and partners of the IANA services; and, maintain openness of the Internet.”

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