Feeds

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

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

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
NBN Co claims 96 mbps download speeds for FTTN trial
Umina trial also delivers 30 mbps uploads, but exact rig used not revealed
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?