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US Frees Internet Governing Body ICANN

The internet regulator ICANN, is all set to become a global organisation in true sense with US government deciding to loosen its grip over the organisation as the previous agreement between them expired on Wednesday.

In recent years, numerous countries and organisations had expressed their dissatisfaction over the US government having a predominant say in the working of the ICANN and had called for a more transparent and global arrangement to manage the internet.

Nearly eleven years ago when the Internet started to gain popularity, the US government decided to hand over a part of its governance to a nonprofit group.

Ever since, the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers or ICANN in short has been the primary body responsible for managing DNS addressing which is the fundamental underlying structure that governs the internet.

It is interesting to note that the new agreement signed between the US government and ICANN is basically an "affirmation of commitments" and for the first time, gives autonomy to the internet governing body.

Expressing his satisfaction at the development, ICANN vice president, Paul Levins mentioned "We've become an organization accountable solely to the Internet community. We will have review teams made up of people from all over the globe, not just a government sitting on Pennsylvania Avenue, although they will continue to play a crucial part."

Our Comments

Freeing ICANN is the next logical step for this organisation. The web is no longer confined to North America and Europe. The so-called BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are growing fast and have, between them, hundreds of millions of web users with more to come as the price of web-aware devices fall down.

Related Links

Internet governance goes global as U.S. loosens grip on ICANN (opens in new tab)

(Los Angeles Times)

US relaxes grip on the internet (opens in new tab)

(BBC)

ICANN, US government splitting up - slowly (opens in new tab)

(Zdnet)

US relinquishes control of the internet (opens in new tab)

(Guardian.co.uk)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.