New Agreement Between US Govt and ICANN Gives Greater Say to Govts, Private Sector Around the World

The American Government has announced it will give other governments around the world and the private sector a greater say in oversight for the technical coordination of the Internet’s domain name and addressing system (DNS).The NTIA and ICANN have co-signed an Affirmation of Commitments that completes the transition of the technical management of the DNS to a multi-stakeholder, private-sector-led model. As earlier reported, the Affirmation is a four-page document and was released on Wednesday morning US time.The document creates expert panels that will conduct regular reviews of ICANN’s work in several areas: network security and stability; the evolution of generic domains such as .com and .net as well as domains not based on the English alphabet; and the continuance of a public database of Web site owners. An accountability panel — the only one required to have a U.S. government representative — is also set up under the plan according to a report in Tech Daily Dose.The Affirmation ensures accountability and transparency in ICANN’s decision-making with the goal of protecting the interests of global internet users. The Affirmation also establishes mechanisms to address the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet DNS as well as promote competition, consumer trust, and consumer choice.”Today’s announcement bolsters the long-term viability of the Internet as a force for innovation, economic growth, and freedom of expression,” said Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling. “This framework puts the public interest front and centre, and it establishes processes for stakeholders around the world to review ICANN’s performance. The Affirmation of Commitments also reinforces a long-standing relationship between ICANN and the Department of Commerce. The Department looks forward to playing an active role along with other stakeholders in ensuring that ICANN is successful, accountable, and transparent.”The new agreement, which has no end date, will go some way to appeasing critics of ICANN such as the European Union and China.

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