U.S. to relinquish remaining control over the Internet
From the Washington Post Story By Craig Timberg, Friday, March 14, 4:19 PM
U.S. officials announced plans Friday to relinquish federal government control over the administration of the Internet, a move likely to please international critics but alarm some business leaders and others who rely on smooth functioning of the Web.
Pressure to let go of the final vestiges of U.S. authority over the system of Web addresses and domain names that organize the Internet has been building for more than a decade and was supercharged by the backlash to revelations about National Security Agency surveillance last year.
“The timing is right to start the transition process,” said Lawrence E. Strickling, assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information. “We look forward to ICANN convening stakeholders across the global Internet community to craft an appropriate transition plan.”
The practical consequences of the decision were not immediately clear, but it could alleviate rising global complaints that the United States essentially controls the Web and takes advantage of its oversight role to help spy on the rest of the world.
U.S. officials set strict conditions and an indeterminate timeline for the transition from federal government authority, saying that a new oversight body must be created and win the trust of crucial stakeholders around the world, officials said. An international meeting to discuss the future of Internet is scheduled for March 24, in Singapore.
The announcement essentially ruled out the possibility that the United Nations would take over the U.S. role, something many nations have advocated and U.S. officials have long opposed.
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