Internet Address System to Fall Under International Control

U.S. to Back out of Internet Address System

Internet Address System to fall under international control according to Obama administration officials. The change is set to take place by September 2015 and stems from the understanding dating back to 1999 that the relationship was always meant to be temporary. The U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recently came under fire for its role in governing the internet, chiefly due to the internet being a global entity, raising concern from other countries that the U.S. would try to bend the World Wide Web to its advantage.

Conditions stated in the agreement to drop involvement with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) involves ICANN taking on the responsibility of coming up with a system featuring broad support for internet users. There may be a change in the way the internet is numbered and named, but according to this agreement it will continue to be accessible and understandable to everyone that uses the internet.

Due to their involvement with precursor networks that gradually led to the birth of the modern internet as we know, the United States government has had a hand in how the internet is organized and navigated since the very beginning of the global network, leading to the creation of the current Internet Address System. However, due to the modern Internets status as an international body, the U.S. no longer holds the greater share of not only physical servers and data storage but users and customers as well they no longer feel they should have a say in how the internet is run.

Many are quick to say that plans for the Internet Address System to fall under international control is in response to revelation leaked to the world by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Netchoice executive director Steve DelBianco  was quoted to say that the parts of the internet affected by Snowdens leaked information have nothing to do with the information involved in the Internet Domain Name System. He went on to say that should this be a frightened over-reaction to these leaks, they may suffer when the cost of this move sees no benefit in running cost or public perception to counterbalance it.

ICANN will be left with the task of deciding the new system that will be used to organize the vast stretches of data the internet holds. Likely it will be an international body, although currently the laws are set by each network as administrators see fit. But due to the extremely wide range of service speeds and access points, the new system will have to be as adaptable and flexible as the current one. There may be some changes to the face of things, of the exact keywords needed to find the desired search results, but overall things are unlikely to change on a grand scale.

There has been some talk of worry that once ICANN is out of the hands of the NTIA there will be no one to pressure them to keep their services up to date. On top of that, once the plan for the Internet Address System to fall under international control is completed ICANN will have the chance to escape many of its business contracts that have power under U.S. law.

By Daniel O’Brien

PC World
The New York Times
Bloomberg Business Week 

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