Feeds

ICANN's overlordship of the internet confirmed again by US gov

The king is, erm, still alive. Long live the king!

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

ICANN has had its powers over internet domain names, IP addresses and protocol numbers renewed by the US Department of Commerce.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced late last night that it has continued ICANN's contract to run the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) for the next three to seven years.

Crucially, the deal refreshes ICANN's nominal powers to add and remove top-level domains (TLD) from the internet's Domain Name System at a time when hundreds of companies are clamouring to have almost 2,000 new dot-word generic TLDs approved and delegated. These new gTLDs are web address extensions like .com and .org that could soon include all manner of words from .android to .tickets.

California-based non-profit ICANN has managed IANA since it was formed in 1998, and the renewal was not unexpected. It is not known how many organisations, beyond ICANN, put in a bid.

The domain name overseer's first attempt to keep the contract was thrown out for not meeting the US government's expectations. In March NTIA cancelled its Request For Proposals (RFP) to manage IANA, stating that it “received no proposals that met the requirements requested by the global community”. This sent ICANN back to the drawing board to come up with another plan.

The newly signed contract has not yet been published, but it is expected to include provisions that increase ICANN's accountability, such as auditing, structural separation and conflict-of-interest checks.

NTIA said in a statement:

Based on input from the global community, NTIA added new requirements. Those include a clear separation between the policy development associated with the IANA services, and implementation by the IANA functions contractor; a robust company-wide conflict of interest policy; a heightened respect for local national law; and a series of consultation and reporting requirements to increase transparency and accountability.

The conflict-of-interest checks were added after ICANN's former chairman Peter Dengate Thrush moved to new gTLD portfolio applicant Top Level Domain Holdings - shortly after he pushed through approval of the new gTLD programme last June.

The contract comes into effect on the first day of October, coincidentally the same day that ICANN's newly named CEO Fadi Chehadé takes over management of the organisation.

Chehadé's predecessor Rod Beckstrom, who left the job yesterday, tweeted last night that his “last act as ‪ICANN‬ CEO” was signing the contract in Istanbul on Sunday.

Akram Atallah, who has taken over from Beckstrom on an interim basis until October, said in a statement: “This is the longest IANA functions contract we’ve ever had, running for a period of three years with two two-year renewal options.”

ICANN revealed last month that it had received 1,930 applications for new gTLDs, but with a question mark hanging over IANA, it wasn't certain that it would actually have the ability to approve them for delegation to the internet's Domain Name System (DNS) root servers.

While IANA holds the political power to add new gTLDs, in practice each major change to the root must also be rubber-stamped by the NTIA and implemented by Verisign, which as the DNS root zone maintainer is tasked with writing and distributing the official "map" of the internet. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.