An international group of online experts suggested the US to cede oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), an agency that manages the Internetís names and addresses. The suggestion follows the US Commerce Departmentís controversial announcement in 2014 about the transfer of its stewardship of ICANN to a global network of interested parties.
The United States have eagerly waited for details of how ICANN would run on its own, as some lawmakers in the country have raised concerns that such transition may allow other countries to take control of the worldwide web.
Over the last 17 years, ICANN has held the contract to manage the master database for top-level domain names and their corresponding numeric addresses. The agency is governed by a board of academics, private industry and government representatives, technical experts, public interest advocates and ordinary users from around the world.
The suggestion of the transition recommends to create a separate subsidiary to operate the technical functions of managing the Internetís name and address system. However, a community could raise the alarm if these functions are not performed appropriately, even though the proposal maintains the aspects of the current system.
According to the proposal, ICANN would remain headquartered in the United States, and the role of the American government would be replaced by ICANN itself, an oversight committee and a review process involving various interested parties. Thus far, American lawmakers have passed a bill that requires the Obama administration to present the transition plan to Congress. According to the group of international experts, the transition is scheduled for mid-2016 and is now up for public comment for another month.