United States lets go of ICANN

ICANN is now an international entity and won’t be controlled by any single government

Tags: Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and NumbersUSA
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United States lets go of ICANN The United States has let go of its control over ICANN to make it accountable to the world instead of just a single nation. (Getty Images)
By  Vineetha Menon Published  October 1, 2009

The United States of America has relinquished control over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN); a historic step in the move towards the internationalisation of the internet.

"One world, one Internet, everyone connected - this is our goal at ICANN. This agreement gives international stakeholders an even more powerful voice in our activities moving forward," said Rod Beckstrom, CEO at ICANN in reaction to the agreement.

Ties between ICANN and the United States have long been an issue of contention for other countries. In July, the European Commission called on the US government to let ICANN be accountable to the whole world instead of a single nation.

As part of the agreement, the United States will still actively participate in ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee, which focuses on making sure the internet addressing system remains functional and secure.

"Many members of the International Internet community have been hoping that an agreement just like this would succeed the Joint Project Agreement between ICANN and the U.S. Department of Commerce government," said Baher Esmat, ICANN's regional manager for the Middle East. "When you combine this agreement with our Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) program it means that the Internationalization of the Internet is now well underway."
ICANN's IDN program will allow the use of non-Latin based language characters in the entire Internet domain name, which is expected to vastly increase the number of internet users in regions such as the Middle East and Asia.

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