INTERNET OVERSEER the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) is proposing that the US stops having control of the DNS communications network and that a committee takes over its management. Reactions to the suggestion are mixed.
Plans were revealed last year, and have now borne a report and a series of proposals. Public insight and comment is requested on the package, and Icann has released statements about its intentions.
Icann is suggesting that the stewardship of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) be taken away from the US Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration and handed over to multiple stakeholders.
This would be a big deal, according to the published information. "The transition of IANA's stewardship represents an important internet governance milestone," said the organisations.
"The proposal for how to carry out the transition is the result of a tremendous undertaking by the global multi-stakeholder community, including the operational communities with direct operation or service relationships with the IANA functions as well as global business, civil society, governments and internet users."
If this came to fruition the World Wide Web would become much more global, and the internet community has shown broad support for the discussions.
"The dedication that the internet community has exhibited to the IANA stewardship transition is nothing short of remarkable," said Alissa Cooper, chair of the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) and member of the Internet Engineering Task Force.
"The public comment period presents an opportunity for the public to assess the transition proposal in its entirety and for the ICG to build a public record demonstrating how the proposal meets the expectations set out by the US government."
However, backing is not found in all quarters. Icann chairman Steve Crocker called the proposals "completely unacceptable" in discussions with an Icann working group.
"I understand and appreciate the perspective you are coming from, and that is from my perspective completely unacceptable. It is a passing of the ball," said Crocker during a webinar followed by the Domainmondo website.
"I understand you are operating under pressure, and I understand that you really didn't want to think hard about it, but nonetheless it is a destructive and inappropriate thing to do." µ
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