Friday
August
29
2014
2:59 am
Weather

  Home
  Local News
  State / National / World
  Sports
  Opinion / Letters
  Business
  Arts / Entertainment
  Lifestyle
  Obituaries
  Calendar
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  Classifieds
  DJ Designers
  Archives
  Advertise With Us
  About Us
 
 
 
 

Check out our archive of Dining Guides - Yum!

US government ceding control of key Internet body
March 15, 2014, 05:00 AM The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. government is relinquishing its control of the Internet’s address system in a shift that may raise questions about the future direction of online innovation and communications.

The decision announced Friday begins a long-planned transition affecting the stewardship of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN. That’s a not-for-profit agency launched in 1998 by the Commerce Department to govern the system that assigns website addresses and directs Internet traffic.

The department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, or NTIA, hopes to end its oversight of ICANN’s Internet Assigned Numbers Authority by the time its contract expires in September 2015. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority administers the technology that keeps computers connected to the Web and steers Internet traffic.

Proposals for a new ICANN stewardship will be accepted beginning next week at a conference in Singapore.

Although it’s too early to tell how future oversight will be handled, the U.S. government appears determined to hand over the reins to an entity without political entanglements.

“We will not accept a proposal that replaces the NTAI’s role with a government-led or intergovernmental solution,” Lawrence Strickling, assistant secretary at the Commerce Department, told reporters.

That statement may ease concerns that oversight of ICANN will be turned over to International Telecommunications Union, which is part of the United Nations.

Although other countries have had a say in how the Internet works, the U.S. government retained veto power over ICANN. That role has fueled recurring debates about whether the U.S. government exerts too much influence over technology that plays such a pivotal role in society and the economy.

The concerns about the United States’ role in ICANN have intensified during the past nine months amid a series of media leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The disclosures have revealed that government spy programs have been vacuuming up emails and other personal data off of Internet services for at least the past six years as part of the country’s anti-terrorism efforts.

Strickling said the “timing is right” for the Commerce Department to start to phase out of ICANN.

Some Internet groups contend the U.S. government should remain in a supervisory position to prevent leaders in other countries with a history of suppressing free speech from trying to manipulate ICANN in a way that censors online communications.

“Without the U.S. government providing an effective backstop to ICANN’s original operating principles, there would be no mechanism in place to stop foreign governments from interfering with ICANN’s operations,” Daniel Castro, senior analyst for the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, wrote in a Friday blog post.

The U.S. government appears to be trying to dictate the agenda for the upcoming changing of the guard at ICANN, said Greg Shatan, a New York attorney specializing in Internet issues for the law firm of Reed Smith. In the process, the U.S. could make it more difficult for other countries seizing upon the Snowden revelations to gain greater control over the agency.

U.S. leaders “didn’t like the way the wind is blowing, so they are trying to move the fan to blow the wind in a different direction,” Shatan said.

Fadi Chehade, ICANN’s president, took a diplomatic stance to the looming shift in power. “All stakeholders deserve a voice in the management and governance of this global resource as equal partners,” he said.

 

 

Tags: internet, government, icann, other, icann, about,


Other stories from today:

 

 
Print this Page Print this Page  |  Bookmark and Share
<< Back
 
Return To Archives
 
  


 
 
 
Daily Journal Quick Poll
 
How would you best describe how you feel about the U.S. economy?

Anxious
Confident
Somewhat anxious
Somewhat confident
Meh

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Boys arrested for ransacking, burglarizing Hillsborough home
Three juveniles were arrested in Hillsborough Thursday for burglarizing and ransacking a home after ..
Assembly approves statewide ban on plastic bags
SACRAMENTO — The state Assembly has approved legislation that would impose the nation's first stat..
Russian columns enter Ukraine; leader urges calm
NOVOAZOVSK, Ukraine — Two columns of tanks and military vehicles rolled into southeastern Ukraine ..
Day 3 of big waves expected in Southern California
NEWPORT BEACH — A third day of huge waves, dangerous rip currents and potential flooding was expec..
Survey: Americans' pessimism on economy has grown
WASHINGTON — Americans are more anxious about the economy now than they were right after the Great..
More >>  
 
 
  
 
  
 
©2014 San Mateo Daily Journal
San Mateo County name change notice