The United States government will on Wednesday announce it is relinquishing most of the control it currently exerts over Icann, the organisation that runs the internet's core domain systems, the BBC reports.
The ties between Icann and the US government have long been a sticking point for many other countries, who are pushing for a true internationalisation of the internet. Issues that could be affected by the upcoming announcement include domain names in non-western scripts, the policing of the internet and the introduction of new domain extensions.
In July, the European Commission called for the US government to let Icann become accountable to the whole of the world, and argued that the end of the current agreement between the two parties — which will take place this Thursday — would be a natural point for this to occur.
However, according to the BBC:
...it is unlikely that the new agreement will sever the links between the US government and Icann entirely.
Rod Beckstrom, president and chief of the organisation, said in a letter to Congress last week that it would seek to maintain a "long term, formal relationship with the United States Government".