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U.S. Relinquishes Control Of ICANN To International Multistakeholders

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, better known as ICANN, is no longer under the control of the United States, as of October 1. The organization is now under the control of multiple internet stakeholders from all over the world.

According to Stephen D. Croker, who is ICANN's Board Chairman, the transition has been planned since the creation of the organization. He also promised that the new ICANN will continue to support a free and open internet.

“This transition was envisioned 18 years ago, yet it was the tireless work of the global Internet community, which drafted the final proposal, that made this a reality,” said ICANN Board Chair Stephen D. Crocker. “This community validated the multistakeholder model of Internet governance. It has shown that a governance model defined by the inclusion of all voices, including business, academics, technical experts, civil society, governments and many others is the best way to assure that the Internet of tomorrow remains as free, open and accessible as the Internet of today,” he added.

What’s ICANN?

The ICANN organization was created in 1998 to maintain a database of names of numbers, to make it easier for people to connect to each other over the internet. To reach someone over the internet, you need to type a name or a number (IP address) in your browser's address bar. Those addresses have to be unique so there is no confusion or conflict between multiple computers or servers.

ICANN is responsible for coordinating how IP addresses and domain names are supplied to users and companies. ICANN is also in charge of the root name servers, which tie domain names to IP address, allowing us humans to remember computer addresses in word form rather than number form.

International Multistakeholder Control

The move to transfer the control of ICANN from the U.S. government to international stakeholders was criticized by many who feared that it could lead to the internet being run by oppressive countries. The domain name system (DNS) could be used to censor access to websites.

For instance, when Turkey started censoring Twitter a few years ago, it did so by forcing local name servers to block access to the site. This restriction could be bypassed by connecting to other DNS servers (which could be changed in a PC’s IP settings), but giving such countries control over the root DNS could potentially lead to increased censorship everywhere.

According to ICANN, countries can't easily demand censorship within the structure of the new organization. The new multistakeholder ICANN consists of just not government representatives, but also academics, technical experts, civil society, and individual internet users. There are also mechanisms that give the global internet community direct recourse when they disagree with ICANN’s decisions. However, some still argue that the whistleblower processes at ICANN are insufficient, which could make it harder to uncover abuses.

The contract between the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the ICANN expired on October 1, which means that the ICANN is now already under international multistakeholder control.

  • ssdpro
    Oh look, the internet still works today.
    Reply
  • Steve Ralls
    The concern has always been creeping censorship, interference and intrusion by repressive regimes, not necessarily a sudden apocalyptic globalization of the great firewall of China.
    Reply
  • Dark Lord of Tech
    Globalization and the NWO is never a good thing. This should have never happened.
    Reply
  • Integr8d
    Guess how much Mr. Croker's promise is worth...
    Reply
  • junkeymonkey
    new world order under the one world gov. close at hand big brother is nothing compared to it .. don't forget to install your win-10 to help insure your not a enemy of the state/ elite 10% ..

    beter take a hard look at the American way and values are being sold out form under you your kids and grand kids

    sign of the times are at hand , repent
    Reply
  • chicofehr
    Will this be a slippery slope that leads to the demise of the USA as a super power leading to the NWO officially (openly) ruling the world? Only time will tell. History is exciting or scary depending on who you are.
    Reply
  • junkeymonkey
    ''slippery slope that leads to the demise of the USA as a super power ''

    chris Matthews asked the candidates in a interview '' what country's leaders do you look up to ?? '' I mean when did the usa start looking up to foreign country's and there leaders ???

    that's how sad things are
    Reply
  • Dark Lord of Tech
    Trump TIME.
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    18680224 said:
    Oh look, the internet still works today.

    Put the straw away, nobody seriously expected the internet to cease to function. Besides, even the worst actors involved seek to control, not destroy. The internet is a useful tool, just look at social media as a manipulation platform. Also successful hidden manipulation of ANYTHING (public opinion, laws, content, etc) must be done slowly and quietly. Change things too fast or make too much noise and you attract unwanted attention. Anyway this probably won't mean much for the US in the near future, but this move (like most Global initiatives) has zero upsides at all for us and potential downsides in the coming years.
    Reply
  • sos_nz
    I'd far rather the internet remained under the control of the N(U)SA.

    /yeah right.
    Reply