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US Department of Commerce asks ICANN for DNS transition plan

updated 02:20 pm EDT, Sat March 15, 2014

NTIA starts process to end DNS management, American monitoring in 2015

The United States government has asked the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to begin drafting a proposal to transition the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) responsibility of domain name system (DNS) administration away from the United States. Stepping away from governance of ICANN would mark the final phase of DNS privatization that had been set in motion in 1998, allowing ICANN to operate independently.

Conditions for the transition proposal must contain "broad community support" and address four outlined principles. The proposal must "support and enhance the multi-stakeholder model; maintain the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet DNS; meet the needs of expectation of the global customer and partners of the IANA services; and, maintain openness of the Internet." The intent of the proposal request is to make ICANN an independent operation free from American monitoring. As such "the NTIA will not accept a proposal that replaces the NTIA role with a government-led or inter-governmental organization solution."

"The timing is right to start the transition process. We look forward to ICANN convening stakeholders across the global Internet community to craft an appropriate transition plan," says Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Lawrence E. Strickling in a statement released from the NTIA.

The US government has come under international fire recently due to the thought that the United States has too much influence on online activities amidst other surveillance and privacy concerns. The Department of Commerce's contract with ICANN is set to expire in September 2015.

By Electronista Staff


  1. nowwhatareyoulookingat

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-13-09

    Of course, the Dept. of Commerce will have to retain control of the root certificate for DNSSEC, just to make sure it doesn't fall into the wrong hands.

  1. prl99

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 03-24-09

    People complain about the US government having too much control over things but my greatest worry is having a corrupt private company take control forcing costs to go up and dictating who can have access. Please don't let someone like Google take it over no matter how much money they offer. The only way to make sure everyone has equal and unrestricted access to DNS names and main servers is to allow it to be multinational and not funded by a large corporation. I don't know if any organization qualifies for this but there is hope. Just because ICANN is already there doesn't mean they will always be there.

  1. Hillbilly Geek

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-22-06

    Yes, give Assad, Putin and Immadinnerjacket control of the Internets. What could go wrong?
    Never underestimate the stupidity of people in large groups.

  1. Grendelmon

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 12-26-07

    Thank the NSA for this.

  1. The Vicar

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-01-09


    You think there's a difference between the U.S. government, after Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush II, and Obama, having control over things, and private companies having control of things? You're an optimist.

    Remember: practically everything the NSA does is outsourced to private companies; Snowden was, after all, a contractor, not some kind of government agent. The U.S. government is, and has been for at least a century, a tool of corporate interests.

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