The U.S. government is taking a key step in relinquishing control of the internet’s addressing system, fulfilling a promise made in the 1990s.
The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration said Thursday that it endorses a March proposal to turn full control over to a private international organization. All that remains is completing some contracts and operational testing. That’s expected to be done in the coming months.
The addressing system — including the assignment of internet suffixes such as “.com” and “.org” — has already been managed by a private organization, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. But the U.S. government, as the internet’s early funder, has retained veto power. The March proposal calls for ICANN to take full control after creating additional mechanisms to resolve disputes.