After 47 years United States set to Hand Over Control of the Internet to ICANN Today

Washington (AFP) - The US government on Saturday ended its formal oversight role over the internet, handing over management of the online address system to a global non-profit entity.

Founded in 1998, non-profit organization ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) oversees the Internet's "address book" (or root zone) — the process of assigning domain names and the underlying IP addresses to keep the Internet running smoothly.

But according to the contract, ICANN and its IANA department (the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) was set to work under the supervision of National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

That contract is ending today, and the US Commerce Department is scheduled to hand over its role to ICANN, which will now become an autonomous body, accountable to an international multi-stakeholder community which includes members from the technical community, businesses, telecommunications experts, civil society and governments.

The Internet itself was designed to function without a central authority and has become a critical part of everyone's life, as well as for the global economic infrastructures.

The US Commerce Department announced that its contract had expired with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which manages the internet's so-called "root zone."

That leaves ICANN as a self-regulating organization that will be operated by the internet's "stakeholders" -- engineers, academics, businesses, non-government and government groups.

The move is part of a decades-old plan by the US to "privatize" the internet, and backers have said it would help maintain its integrity around the world.

US and ICANN officials have said the contract had given Washington a symbolic role as overseer or the internet's "root zone" where new online domains and addresses are created.

But critics, including some US lawmakers, argued that this was a "giveaway" by Washington that could allow authoritarian regimes to seize control.

A last-ditch effort by critics to block the plan -- a lawsuit filed by four US states -- failed when a Texas federal judge refused to issue an injunction to stop the transition.

Lawrence Strickling, who heads the Commerce Department unit which has managed these functions, issued a brief statement early Saturday confirming the transition of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).

"As of October 1, 2016, the IANA functions contract has expired," he said.

Stephen Crocker, ICANN's board chairman and one of the engineers who developed the early internet protocols, welcomed the end of the contract.

"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," he said in a statement.

"This community validated the multi-stakeholder 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."

The Internet Society, a group formed by internet founders aimed at keeping the system open, said the transition was a positive step.

"The IANA transition is a powerful illustration of the multi-stakeholder model and an affirmation of the principle that the best approach to address challenges is through bottom-up, transparent, and consensus-driven processes," the group said in a statement.


For the people who asked, ICANN is the Internet Corporation for Names and Numbers.

They're the entity that manages all domain names and the IP address (url) associated with them... Think of it as a corporation that gives out and manages phone numbers and makes sure nobody shares the same phone number, except in this case it's for ip and internet addresses for the whole internet. (Each internet address has an signed IP address)

And it make people remember a address in word than numbers  sample than, Yes People can remember a website address in word than number but computers are good in number..

Try Whois

ICANN is the internet equivalent of a building code agency.

Here's the idea. Computers online have addresses. These addresses are numbers. They used to look like "" but now they tend to look like "ab24:ccs45:hs783:fhua7" these addresses are hard for humans to remember. So a clever engineer figured out an idea. Let server operators assign human readable names to their addresses. Such as or And created a system that maintains a great big table of all addresses and their associated names.

So "" translates to "182.284.367.7" , because humans are good at reading words but computers work better with numbers. All ICANN does is write that standard. Sort of like a building code for the internet.

The servers that do this work are spread out, owned by ISP companies, Universities, businesses, and governments. ICANN just codifies the standards so they're the same worldwide. They couldn't do anything untoward even if they wanted to. 

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About Jaime Lacson

A Freelance Computer Tech with knowledge about computer, router and mobile phones, especially in Upgrade and Downgrade OS, Software and Hardware troubleshooting. follow me at Google+
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