A step forward in the globalisation of Internet governance

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17 March, 2014

As of 2015, key Internet domain functions will no longer be governed by US government body NTIA (the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration). Instead, the domain name stewardship will be transferred to a global multi-stakeholder community, the NTIA announced.

According to the Commerce Department, it has been committed to a transition of the DNS management from a government-oriented model to a more private sector leadership since 1998. Now, “the timing is right to start the transition process,” states Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Lawrence E. Strickling. Whether this is because of the recent revelations by Edward Snowden and the resulting international pressure to globalise Internet governance, or because of another reason remains unclear.

The NTIA has asked the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organisation that carries out the Internet Assigned Number Authority (IANA) functions, to convene global stakeholders in order to draft a transition proposal. The proposal must have broad community support and address the following principles:

  • Support and enhance the multistakeholder model;
  • Maintain the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet DNS;
  • Meet the needs and expectation of the global customers and partners of the IANA services; and,
  • Maintain the openness of the Internet.

Vice President of the European Commission Neelie Kroes welcomes the announcement of a more global multi-stakeholders basis for the DNS-administration. “This is an historical step in making Internet governance truly global, and marks major progress towards the development of a multi-stakeholder model as advocated in the Commission’s recent Communication” she said. “The European Commission will work together with the US and with all global stakeholders to implement the globalisation of the IANA functions in a process that is accountable and transparent, and in a manner that secures the open Internet and that will underpin human rights.”

Sources: NTIA, EC


Jonathan Toornstra

Legal Consultant

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