ICANN, US government splitting up - slowly

Well, this is a somewhat amorphous development: The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S.

Well, this is a somewhat amorphous development: The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. government is now "loosening control" over ICANN, the semi-private "director" of DNS addressing. The move is seen as a stamp of approval for the private-sector approach and will mollify European governments who have long been chafing over U.S. involvement in ICANN.

The new deal is couched in international organizational speak, to wit:

The Commerce Department and ICANN have now entered into an "affirmation of commitments" in which the parties pledge to "a multi-stakeholder, private-sector-led, bottom-up policy development model" for the Internet, according to the new agreement.

What ever that means, it means government is slowly backing out of Internet governance and letting the private sector take more and more authority.

"This completely confirms that after a decade of very careful study and review, the U.S. government is confident that the private-sector model, as enshrined by ICANN, is the right one," said John Kneuer, a former Commerce Department official who oversaw the last renewal of the ICANN agreement.