Cover image from pamelageller.com
Saying that the international agreement for the United States of America to sign over control of the internet from its ownership needs more work, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling wrote in a blog post Monday that surrender of the internet to international forces will be put off for at least a year, and the current agreement with nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) might well be renewed for an additional three years.
When we announced our intent in March 2014 to complete the privatization of the DNS, we noted that the base period of our contract with ICANN to perform technical functions related to the DNS, known as the IANA functions, expired on September 30, 2015. However, it has become increasingly apparent over the last few months that the community needs time to complete its work, have the plan reviewed by the U.S. Government and then implement it if it is approved.
Accordingly, in May we asked the groups developing the transition documents how long it would take to finish and implement their proposals. After factoring in time for public comment, U.S. Government evaluation and implementation of the proposals, the community estimated it could take until at least September 2016 to complete this process. In response to their feedback, we informed Congress on Friday that we plan to extend our IANA contract with ICANN for one year to September 30, 2016. Beyond 2016, we have options to extend the contract for up to three additional years if needed.
Extend ICANN’s contract if needed…given the goals of this group as outlined by the New York Times: “The Commerce Department … said the new governing body could not be a government-led or intergovernmental organization. It also stipulated that the new group must maintain the structure and stability of the domain name system, along with “the openness of the Internet.” May as well just hand it over to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, then. It’s either him or the United Nations if the intention is to keep it running – and even then the internet being as free and open as it is is iffy. The United States is one of the few countries that actually believes in the concept of free speech.
So, handover of one of the USA’s true technological achievements to forces that may well want to destroy us has been postponed. Strickling seems to think the outstanding issues and public commentary can be dealt with in the next year…but has a contract extension in his back pocket if necessary. Any takers on this handover being postponed until a Republican is in the White House and then the executive order torn up? Yeah, me neither.