[op-ed snap] ICANN and Internet Governance II

  1. Earlier, when only a handful of websites existed, American computer scientist Jon Postel administered the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)
  2. This body is responsible for delegating and managing domain names and Internet protocol addresses globally
  3. ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) then took over in 1998 and until 1 October 2016, it was based in and controlled by US
  4. It is headquartered in the Playa Vista
  5. ICANN was answerable to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the US Department of Commerce
  6. US government therefore controlled vital Internet infrastructure- a point of contention

[op-ed snap] ICANN and Internet Governance I

  1. Context: India hosted ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) 57th meeting in Hyderabad
  2. ICANN: Internet’s bone, US government controls vital Internet infrastructure- a point of contention
  3. Other states are unwilling to bank on Washington’s goodwill and ethical fibre in this matter of global security, economic activity and development
  4. Primary point of discontention: whether to have a multilateral governance approach—one in which national governments would be the primary stakeholders and agents
  5. Or a multi-stakeholder approach that would incorporate a variety of voices from civil society, the private sector and academia
  6. Decentralised, transnational nature of Internet has underpinned its innovation, economic and developmental benefits
  7. India’s domestic internet governance: successive governments are unconcerned with the need to engage civil society and technical experts
  8. They should be consulted in matters of freedom of expression, website blocking, policy issues such as the encryption bill and the geospatial Bill

Let’s know more about ICANN

  1. ICANN: Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is a Los Angeles-based non-profit organisation
  2. Was created in 1998 to take over the task of assigning web addresses
  3. History: Until 1998, that job was handled by one man – Jon Postel
  4. He was known to many as the god of the internet, a nod to his power over the internet, as well as his research work in creating some of the systems that underpin networking
  5. Postel, who died not long after ICANN was created, was in charge of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)
  6. Administration of the IANA was contracted to the newly-formed ICANN, but the U.S.’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), part of the of Department Commerce, kept its final say over what it was able to do
  7. Now: It is that final detail that is set to change from October 1 & no longer will the US Govt (through the NTIA) be able to intervene on matters around internet naming

Let’s know more about DNS

  1. DNS: The Domain Naming System is one of the Internet’s most important components
  2. It pairs the easy-to-remember web addresses with their relevant servers
  3. Without DNS, one would only be able to access websites by typing in its IP address, a series of numbers such as 194.66.82.10

U.S. set to hand over Internet’s naming system to ICANN

  1. News: The U.S. is set to cede power of the Internet’s DNS to ICANN on October 1, ending the almost 20-year process to hand over a crucial part of the Internet’s governance
  2. Control: More by circumstance than intention, the U.S. has always had ultimate say over how the DNS is controlled
  3. Background: The terms of the change were agreed upon in 2014, but it was not until now that the U.S. said it was finally satisfied that ICANN was ready to make the change
  4. Criticism: Some U.S. politicians call the move as opening the door to the likes of China and Russia to meddle with a system that has always been protected by the US
  5. Users of the web will not notice any difference because ICANN has essentially being doing the job for years
  6. Transition: From an internet effectively governed by one nation to a multi-stakeholder governed internet, a properly global solution for what has become a global asset


:( We are working on most probable questions. Do check back this section.







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