The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has launched a process to transition the role of the United States government relating to the internet's unique identifiers system.
ICANN's announcement comes on the heels of an historic announcement by the US government stating that it is ready to transfer its stewardship of the important internet technical functions to the global internet community.
The US government's current responsibilities to be transitioned include the procedural role of administering changes to the Domain Name System's (DNS) to the authoritative root zone file - the database containing the lists of names and addresses of all top-level domains – as well as serving as the historic steward of the unique identifiers registries for Domain names, IP addresses, and protocol parameters.
In doing so, the US recognized ICANN's maturation in becoming an effective multistakeholder organization and requested that ICANN convene the global community to develop the transition process from of the US stewardship to a global community consensus-driven mechanism.
The first community-wide dialogue about the development of the transitional process is ongoing until March 27 during ICANN's 49th Public Meeting in Singapore.
"We are inviting governments, the private sector, civil society, and other internet organizations from the whole world to join us in developing this transition process," said Fadi Chehadé, ICANN's President and CEO. "All stakeholders deserve a voice in the management and governance of this global resource as equal partners."
Independent of the US transition, the roles of the internet technical organizations, including ICANN's role as administrator of the internet's unique identifier system, remain unchanged. The internet's unique identifier functions are not apparent to most internet users, but they play a critical role in maintaining a single, global, unified and interoperable internet.