Dr. Stephen D. Crocker, board chairman, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has submitted the plan to transition stewardship of key Internet functions to the U.S. Government.
The plan aims to transfer the supervision of key technical Internet functions from the U. S. Government to a global multi-stakeholder community. Developed by the international Internet community, the plan, if approved, will lead to global stewardship of some key technical Internet functions.
“This plan is a testament to the hard work of the global Internet community and the strength of the multistakeholder model,” said Crocker, who transmitted the plan on behalf of the global community. “The plan has now been sent to the U.S. Government for its review, and assuming it meets the necessary criteria, we will have reached an historic moment in the history of the Internet.”
According to ICANN, the plan provides a comprehensive package to transition the U.S. Government’s stewardship of these technical functions, called the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority), which are critical to the Internet’s smooth operation. It also proposes ways to enhance ICANN’s accountability as a fully independent organisation. The transition is the final step in the long-anticipated privatisation of the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS), first outlined when ICANN was incorporated in 1998.
The ICANN Board received the package from the community during its 55th public meeting in Morocco and transmitted it to the U.S. National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA).
On March 14, 2014, NTIA announced its desire to transition its stewardship of the IANA functions to the global multi-stakeholder community. The package is the result of an inclusive, global discussion amongst representatives from government, large and small business, technical experts, civil society, researchers, academics and end users, ICANN says.
“The Internet community has exhibited remarkable dedication to the IANA stewardship transition because we know just how important it is to complete,” said Alissa Cooper, Chair of the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) that coordinated the development of the transition proposal. “Internet users the world over stand to benefit from its stability, security, and accountability enhancements to Internet governance once the proposal takes effect.”
The U.S. Government is expected to 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.