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ICANN given one more year

The World Wide Web’s top governing body, ICANN, has grudgingly received a one-year extension to its mandate from the US Commerce Department, while demanding reform within the often criticised organisation.

The World Wide Web’s top governing body, ICAAN, has grudgingly received a one-year extension to its mandate from the US Commerce Department. In announcing the agreement, the Department pushed for major reform within the often criticised body.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body that distributes web addresses, was set up by the US Government in 1998. Technically, it represents the interests of all net users, but it is often accused of being merely a rubber-stamp for the Department of Commerce, and it only exists because the Department says it can.

ICAAN’s mandate was due to expire on September 30, but the Department of Commerce has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to extend its life by another a year. However, in announcing the agreement, the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications & Information, Nancy J. Victory, had harsh words for the organisation and called for reform.

"The Department is frankly disappointed that ICANN's progress on the MOU tasks thus far has moved so slowly. Nevertheless, the Department considers the organisation's recent broad reform efforts to be a substantial justification for affording ICANN a limited amount of additional time to achieve the MOU tasks,” she said.

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