Nation & World News

U.S. To Relinquish Remaining Control Of The Internet

By Eyder Peralta on March 14th, 2014

The United States announced its intention on Friday of relinquishing its remaining control of the Internet.

In a statement, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration said it wants to relinquish its oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

ICAAN is a kind of cooperative that includes a wide array of companies and people, as well as more than 100 governments. One of the key functions overseen by the U.S. is the assignment of domain names. (Think of .com or .org.)

“The timing is right to start the transition process,” Lawrence E. Strickling, the assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information, said in a statement. “We look forward to ICANN convening stakeholders across the global Internet community to craft an appropriate transition plan.”

NPR’s Steve Henn tells our Newscast unit that the world community has been calling for this handover for a while. But the current revelations over spying by the National Security Agency has led to louder calls.

“The announcement by the Commerce Department Friday that it would relinquish its oversight role of ICANN was widely viewed as a response to that criticism,” Steve reports. “Administration officials have said any new governance structure for ICANN should be transparent and free from any hint of government interference.”

The Commerce Department adds that it was always the intention of the United States to hand over these responsibilities to the global community.

The Wall Street Journal adds:

“The impact of the change remains unclear, because the Commerce Department’s day-to-day role in overseeing the contract with Icann is largely clerical. However, other nations have suggested the U.S. can still use its current authority to block certain websites for reasons like copyright infringement or having links to known terrorists. One goal of transitioning Icann to nongovernmental oversight would be to provide more transparency to all nations into how the Internet’s root structure operates.

“Until 1998, the functions were managed by Jon Postel, a computer scientist at the University of Southern California, one of the early pioneers of the World Wide Web. Upon Postel’s death in 1998, the Commerce Department issued a contract to Icann to take over those functions, making Icann the primary body in charge of setting policy for Internet domains and addresses.”

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Chinese High-Rise Worker Left Dangling After Annoyed Boy Cuts Rope

The 10-year-old watching cartoons reportedly became annoyed at the construction racket outside his window, so he took a knife and sliced through the worker’s rappelling apparatus.


A graphic produced by Gasbuddy.com shows regional variation of gas prices.

Holiday Gas Prices Lowest In Four Years

The national average for regular is $3.45 per gallon, down from an all-time high of $3.83 per gallon over the Labor Day 2012 holiday.


Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell arrives at federal court in Richmond, Va., on Thursday.

The Most Bizarre Bits To Come Out Of The Trial Of Virginia’s Ex-Governor

At issue are serious allegations of corruption, but the trial has also unveiled some unfortunate details of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s personal life.


A Malaysia Airlines crew member inspects an airplane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Thursday. The carrier announced it was laying off a third of its workforce amid steep financial losses.

Malaysia Airlines Cuts A Third Of Its Workforce After Steep Losses

The disappearance of MH370 and the shooting down of MH17 in recent months have compounded the hit to the carrier’s already shaky bottom line.


Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks at a news conference in London on Friday after the U.K. raised its terror alert level.

Britain Raises Terror Alert Level, But Cites No Specific Threat

The warning was raised to “severe,” the second-highest level, as British Prime Minister David Cameron said Islamic extremism poses a “greater and deeper” threat to the U.K. than ever before.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments