US Government Set to Give Up Net Oversight Powers

The US government has declared it wants to stop being in charge of how the internet is run.

The US Commerce Department has announced its “intent” to hand control over to the wider net community.

It has asked net overseer Icann to work out how to shift control from the US government to an alternative body.

It said it wants the successor controlling body to be made up of both private companies and government representatives.

‘Critical’ time

The way the internet came about meant the US retained ultimate control over how the network was operated. The process of stepping back from that began in 1998 with the creation of Icann (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).

Under contract from the US government, Icann oversees the net’s addressing system that underlies everything people do online.

Now it wants to go further and let Icann run that addressing system without any US interference.

In a statement setting out its plan, assistant secretary of commerce Lawrence Strickling said the handover must “support and enhance the multistakeholder model” for the governing of the net as well as maintain its openness.

via BBC News – US government set to give up net oversight powers.

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