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

Lava near the leading edge of the flow oozing over a concrete slab and towards a tangerine tree before solidifying near the town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii earlier this week.

Lava Flow In Hawaii Spares Homes, But Threatens To Cut Off Community

The state has sent National Guard troops to the town of Pahoa to assist with a road block and security.


An undated FBI handout shows alleged cop killer Eric Frein on the FBI Most Wanted list. A manhunt for an alleged cop killer ended 30 October 2014 with the capture of the man Pennsylvania police had been hunting for nearly seven weeks, state authorities said.

Alleged Cop-Killer Due In Court After Arrest Ends Long Manhunt

Eric Frein, who investigators say fatally shot a police officer and wounded another, was arrested on Thursday after eluding authorities for 48 days.


Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants celebrates after defeating the Kansas City Royals to win game seven of the 2014 World Series.

Is It Too Early To Call Madison Bumgarner A Legend?

The San Francisco Giants’ pitcher delivered a performance for the ages Wednesday night. And the sports world just can’t stop talking about it.


This undated photo of Eric Frein was released Tuesday by Pennsylvania State Police. Frein, 31, had been sought in connection with September's killing of a state trooper and the critical wounding of another.

Eric Frein, Suspected Of Killing Pennsylvania Trooper, In Custody

Police say Frein opened fire on two state troopers more than a month ago, and they’ve been searching for him since. The Pike County district attorney says he intends to seek the death penalty.


In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, a former Red Cross official says, as many as 40 percent of the organization's emergency vehicles were assigned for public relations purposes. This photo, which shows one of the trucks on Long Island, N.Y., in January 2013, is one example of the many publicity photos taken by the Red Cross.

Red Cross Responds To NPR/ProPublica Report On Storm Response Inefficiencies

An NPR investigation revealed how the emergency organization funneled its resources away from storm victims to create an “illusion of mass care.” The Red Cross tells PBS NewsHour that’s not true.


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