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ICANN Begins New Era of Independence

Category: Internet
Posted: 09:01AM

The governing body that oversses the domain name system (DNS) is embarking on a new chapter in its life as it moves out from under direct controll of the U.S. Department of Commerce for the first time in eleven years.

In an agreement dated yesterday, the DOC gave up some of its control over Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that paves the way for more international participation in the decisions made that affect how the Internet is run. In an agreement dating from 2006 that expireed yesterday, the U.S. becomes a member of the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) and gives up primary control over ICANN.

That should ease some of the criticism directed toward ICANN and the U.S. claiming the U.S. had a stranghold on the Internet. As a member of the GAC, the U.S. joins over 100 other countries at the table with ICANN no longer reporting to the U.S. government. As the Internet has become more prevalent world wide over the past decade, U.S. control had become a sore point for many, with some countries such as China threatening to build their own version of the Net if some accomodation on the matter could not be reached.

"This reflects the globalization of the Internet," said Rod Beckstrom, chief executive of the body, called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or Icann. "By America relaxing some control and inviting other countries to have an active hand, that increases the possibility that the global Internet will remain unified," Mr. Beckstrom said in an interview.;


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