ICANN submits internet transition plan to US govt

Eden Estopace
eGov Innovation

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) said the plan for the global stewardship of the internet has been submitted to the US government for review.

The plan is the result of an inclusive, global discussion among representatives from government, large and small business, technical experts, civil society, researchers, academics and end users.

It provides a comprehensive package to transition the US Government’s stewardship of the internet’s key technical functions, called the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority), and proposes ways to enhance ICANN’s accountability as a fully independent organization.

It also combines the technical requirements of a transition coordinated by the IANA Stewardship Transition Group (ICG) and enhancements to ICANN’s accountability identified by the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability). The two groups were composed of volunteers representing a broad range of interests from the wider multistakeholder Internet community.

“This plan is a testament to the hard work of the global internet community and the strength of the multistakeholder model,” said ICANN’s board chair Dr. Stephen D. Crocker.

On 14 March 2014, the US National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA)announced its desire to transition its stewardship of the IANA functions to the global multistakeholder community. The transition is the final step in the long-anticipated privatization of the internet’s domain name system, first outlined when ICANN was incorporated in 1998.

The US government will now review the package to ensure that it meets NTIA’s criteria. If approved, implementation of the plan is expected to be completed prior to the expiration of the contract between NTIA and ICANN in September 2016.

Alissa Cooper, Chair of the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) that coordinated the development of the transition proposal, said Internet users the world over stand to benefit from its stability, security, and accountability enhancements to Internet governance once the proposal takes effect.

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