Australia endorses US withdrawal from internet control

Australia endorses US withdrawal from internet control

Summary: The Australian government has welcomed the US government's decision to scale back its oversight of ICANN.


Australian Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has welcomed the US' move to relinquish control of administration of domain names to a more global body.

Over the weekend, the US government announced that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) would help transition the control of the remaining administration of DNS and top-level domains from the US to a global multi-stakeholder body, with a dialogue on the transition process set to commence later this month.

"We are inviting governments, the private sector, civil society, and other internet organisations from the whole world to join us in developing this transition process," Fadi Chehadé, ICANN's president and CEO, said in a statement. "All stakeholders deserve a voice in the management and governance of this global resource as equal partners."

While reaction in the US was mixed, with US Republicans and Fox News hosts labelling the move as a "surrender" to foreign countries, Turnbull said it was a "momentous day in the history of the internet."

Turnbull said in a blog post that he had been discussing the move with the US Department of Commerce, and said that there were clear conditions that the transition must be to a multi-stakeholder model that does not replace the US government with another government or multi-government organisation like the ITU or the UN.

Turnbull said the Australian government supports this approach.

"The internet is the most remarkable invention of our times and while it had its origins in research contracts with the US government its growth, its dynamism, its resilience have all been the result of collaborative efforts by the wide internet community not government regulation or fiat," he said.

"There is a lot of work to do to support ICANN in transitioning to a new model, and the Australian government, committed as it is to a multi-stakeholder system of governance, will work with the Australian and global internet community including other governments to ensure that the internet remains free, stable and resilient and continues to be a powerful platform for freedom around the world."

AuDA (.au Domain Administration), the manager of the .au domain also welcomed the US government's announcement, and the rules established around the transition to the multi-stakeholder model.

"We ... agree that broad community engagement is required in developing a transition plan and support the key principles of openness, multi-stakerholderism, security and stability, and customer focus stipulated by [National Telecommunications and Information Administration]," auDA CEO and ICANN board director Chris Disspain said in a statement.

Topics: Government, Government AU, Australia


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • Australia endorses US withdrawal from internet control

    And I say he'll no to this hackers will have field day
  • I, for one, do NOT support this.

    This is the beginning of what will become a tsunami of changes in the Internet as we know it.

    Country A wants to use a naming convention that Country B does not agree with, and will not recognize. Country C gets pissy with Country A and forges a relationship with Country B to sensor content from Country A.

    The results of decentralizing the control, and control from a country that has been undeniably balanced and fair, is a mistake for the global Internet users - all several billion of us.
    • Which is why...

      ...the best way to proceed would probably be to make ICANN completely independent of outside control (governmental or otherwise) and fully responsible for the root domain. National governments would retain control of their own domains, making it easier for those dissatisfied with ICANN's administration to set of their own root domains (which probably won't happen if ICANN remains both competent and politically neutral).
      John L. Ries
  • Dont understand why they do it..

    It has something to do with the huge business thing between these two government. Even our right of speech would be affected someday.
    jason spark
    • Dont understand why they do it..
      jason spark