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U.S. set to hand over Internet’s naming system to ICANN
U.S. set to hand over Internet’s naming system to ICANN [Internet Governance]
The U.S. is set to cede power of the Internet’s naming system to a non-profit organisation on October 1, ending the almost 20-year process to hand over a crucial part of the Internet’s governance.
The Domain Naming System, DNS, is one of the Internet’s most important components.
It pairs the easy-to-remember web addresses with their relevant servers. Without DNS, one would only be able to access websites by typing in its IP address, a series of numbers such as “184.108.40.206”.
The U.S. will give up its power fully to Los Angeles-based ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), a non-profit organisation.
Users of the web will not notice any difference because ICANN has essentially being doing the job for years.
But it’s a move that has been fiercely criticised by some U.S. politicians as opening the door to the likes of China and Russia to meddle with a system that has always been “protected” by the US.
Proposal will significantly increase power of foreign governments over Internet.
ICANN was created in 1998 to take over the task of assigning web addresses. Until that point, that job was handled by one man - Jon Postel. He was known to many as the “god of the internet”, a nod to his power over the internet, as well as his research work in creating some of the systems that underpin networking.
Postel was in charge of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).
It marks a transition from an internet effectively governed by one nation to a multi- stakeholder governed internet: a properly global solution for what has become a global asset.