US government to surrender control of Internet

US government to surrender control of Internet

Summary: The US Department of Commerce announced today that it would relinquish control over the administration of the Internet.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Government US
25

The US government will relinquish control over the basic administration of the Internet, according to reports today.

Since the 1990s, fundamental control of the IP numbering network and DNS for the Internet has been run by organizations operating under a contract from the US government. First the DNS was run by Network Solutions, Inc., and from 1998 by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit California-based corporation created for the purpose.

ICANN operates under an agreement with the Department of Commerce. It is not clear whether ICANN's role will change or simply who they report to.

Other governments and international parties have complained about the US government's special position in Internet governance for many years, but the issue has gained extra currency in the wake of Edward Snowden's revelation of widespread Internet surveillance by the National Security Agency.

The Washington Post cites Lawrence Strickling, a top Commerce Department official, as saying that "...a new oversight body must be created and win the trust of crucial stakeholders around the world." The Commerce Department also ruled out the United Nations for that role.

ICANN already operates with a complex, multinational multi-stakeholder model for decision making.

Topic: Government US

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

25 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • SO....

    What does that really mean... I mean most of the companies that have a play in the internet today are not under a contract from the US Govt anyway... So even if ICANN starts to report to the UN it wont change much because they don't really Govern the internet. But I do agree that any power that the govt has needs to be limited since they have been taking full advantage of it at every turn these days.
    Jimster480
    • What Does It Mean?

      It is actually more dangerous than you realize.

      Here is a Link to an Article
      > http://deonvsearth.com/president-obama-surrenders-control-of-the-internet/ <

      But Because the Internet was created in America, It was therefore subject to our LAWS and our CONSTITUTION

      ( Freedoms, Amendments, Rights )

      But NOW, the keys are being handed over to a GLOBAL POWER that is NOT subject to our laws. Therefore our Freedoms can no longer be protected by our constitution!

      There is so much more to this, But I would suggest that you Read the Article That I mentioned Above!

      > http://deonvsearth.com/president-obama-surrenders-control-of-the-internet/
      dlundy1
  • Didn't say...

    ...to whom it was being relinquished. That's a rather important detail.
    John L. Ries
    • They haven't decided

      They've just said that when an appropriate agency is identified, control over ICANN (or a successor if that's what's decided) will be handed over to them
      Larry Seltzer
    • John L. Ries: "Didn't say... ...to whom it was being relinquished"

      My guess is that the following five (5) nations will comprise the oversight body:

      o U.S.A. (for continuity)
      o Canada (representative for the Americas)
      o United Kingdom (representative for Europe)
      o Australia (representative for Asia)
      o New Zealand (representative for Oceania)
      o Republic of South Africa (representative for Africa)

      Nice 'n cozy. :()
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • Far better then having the United Nations oversee it.

        So I can say that Commerce Department isn't as naïve as I believed.

        Hey, I learned something!
        William.Farrel
  • Why do I think this will end badly?

    That's right. This administration has lied to me about everything NSA related. I forgot.

    It would not surprise me at all to see the Justice Department involved in more ways than they are now.
    pishaw
  • It has always been possible for an alternate DNS tree to be available.

    All it takes is getting administrators to accept the alternate list of root servers...
    jessepollard
    • Really???

      No problem with THAT minor detail...
      Woned B. Fooldagan
  • Thank goodness UN ruled out

    The UN is the most corrupt organization on planet Earth. Well, maybe aside from the US Congress. So I'm really glad the UN will not be involved in this.
    FDanconia
    • FDanconia: "The UN is the most corrupt organization on planet Earth"

      Including the UN 'Security Council'.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
    • Touch of hyperbole

      While the UN certainly has its problems, I think there are hundreds of criminal gangs that are more corrupt than the UN or any other intergovernmental body.
      John L. Ries
      • Corrupt probably fits here

        I see a difference between a "criminal" organization: bad people doing bad things. Versus a "corrupt" organization: an organization pretending to be good but rotten to the core. A good definition I found is "illegitimate use of public power to benefit a private interest".

        That being said calling something "the most corrupt" is a bit of a stretch, sadly.
        oncall
      • One would expect

        Criminal organizations to be corrupt. Not a governing body.
        athynz
        • True, but...

          ...he didn't appear to be discussing expectations, but reality. "Most corrupt organization on planet Earth" is an exaggeration and I called it one.
          John L. Ries
      • The fact you had to resort to comparing the UN

        to organized crime in an attempt to make it seem not so bad proves the parent's point.
        baggins_z
        • To the contrary

          I established his point as ridiculous. Please note that unlike yourself (as you explicitly stated), I consider rhetorical hyperbole to be dishonest.
          John L. Ries
  • The UN is ruled out?

    Yeah, sure they are.

    I have a crisp new dollar bill that says the UN tries to take it over again once the US actually relinquishes "control".
    Hallowed are the Ori
  • Control and security- the more you squeeze, the less is left in your hand

    Mr. Gingrich tweeted about the risk of foreign dictatorship over the Internet? Does he not realize that it is for that very reason, our dictatorship over it, that we are losing it to the world! Congress (even GOP) tried to regulate content, even tax, many times and then NSA collects all content just because it is technically possible, not for any need or legal reason. Just because you put information in a cloud or send over the internet, NSA felt it became theirs to have and hold. That short-sightedness means they and we have now lost it. Guess their attorneys never told them of that possibility. Fact is, cloud services and so may others uses cannot move forward in the U.S. any more because of NSA abuse. The world has taken its business elsewhere. Control (and security) is like jello... the more you squeeze, the less you discover is left in your hand. NSA kids were perhaps unaware of this truth.
    J_k_smith
    • Clearly, voters in the U.S.A.

      need to pay more attention to whom they elect to the Presidency and Congress.

      Concentrating one's disapproval on a 3-letter agency of the U.S. government (in this case, the military) is a distraction.
      Rabid Howler Monkey