ICANN is no longer a US controlled organization

image On Wednesday September 30 an 11-year series of memorandums of understanding between ICANN and the US Department of Commerce expired. The same day the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers reached a new agreement with the DOC that allows the nonprofit greater independence, while giving more countries oversight of the organization.

The two parties concluded the new agreement called an Affirmation of Commitments which sets up reviews of ICANN’s performance every three years, with members of ICANN advisory committees, the Department of Commerce (DOC), independent experts and others serving on the review teams.

While the DOC remains to be involved in ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee ICANN is no recognized as a global "private-sector led organization". The U.S. government will have "one seat at the table" for the three-year reviews, ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom said in a video on the organization’s site. "What it really means is we’re going global," he said. "All the reviews and all the work done will be submitted for public comment to the world. But there’s no separate or unique or separate reporting to the United States government. All the reporting is to the world; that’s the real change".

Under the terms of the new agreement ICANN becomes a "multi-stakeholder, private sector led, bottom-up policy development model for DNS technical coordination." The agreement also requires ICANN to "adhere to transparent and accountable budgeting processes, fact-based policy development, cross-community deliberations, and responsive consultation procedures that provide detailed explanations of the basis for decisions."

The new agreement doesn’t change the DOC’s contract with ICANN to perform the functions of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which is responsible for the global coordination of the DNS Root, IP addressing, and other Internet protocol resources.


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