Internet management to pass to private hands

World Today

When you type in a web address, there’s an organization making sure you get to where you want to go. It’s a U.S. government contractor known by its acronym: ICANN.

Internet management to pass to private hands

When you type in a web address, there's an organization making sure you get to where you want to go. It's a U.S. government contractor known by its acronym: ICANN.


Within the next year, it will separate from the U.S. government. A panel of 30 people from 17 countries (including China) spent the past year developing a plan to move Internet management from a U.S. government contractor, fully into private hands. It was released to the public for comment just last week. >>


Here’s how it would work:
The “Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers” or ICANN would pass control to a new private regulator, which would be under contract to administer the technical aspects of the Internet. This would include things such as awarding names, numbers and parameters for Internet domains around the world.
Customers would be able to lodge complaints to a customer committee made up of network engineers, academics and scientists. A group of Western computer engineers would provide oversight of the process. Importantly, no government would run the Internet.
Last year, stakeholders were considering whether a United Nations body should play the role of regulator. It had support from Russia, China and Brazil.

Syracuse University’s Milton Mueller is on the panel organizing the transition from ICANN to a private entity. “I think it’s really a test of whether we have a truly global multi-stake-holder system of internet governance or whether we’re going to devolve into an intergovernmental system,” Mueller said in September of 2014.

But Milton Mueller and the 29 other stakeholders who developed the plan, ended up favoring a purely privatized model instead.

ICANN CEO, Fadi Chehade told the Washington Times this month: that’s the way it should be. “…it’s being run by the experts,” Chehade said, “leave it alone…”

Critics worry that without a central body, there could be issues achieving consensus and problem solving.
Or that innovation could be killed because current stakeholders want to keep the Internet on terms they understand. Regardless, the U.S. president will now present this plan to Congress.
If lawmakers approve it, which is not a guarantee, it will go into effect next July.

Reporting from CCTV’s Jessica Stone


Chris LaHatte of ICANN on big changes to governance of the Internet

ICANN Ombudsman Chris LaHatte reports directly to the board of this organization which has been essentially part of the gate keeping set for the World Wide Web. Things are about to change and go private leaving the Internet, hopefully, less controlled by governments. CCTV America’s Mike Walters asked him what sorts of complaints he usually gets working as ombudsman for ICANN.

Chris LaHatte of ICANN on big changes to governance of the Internet

ICANN Ombudsman Chris LaHatte reports directly to the board of this organization which has been essentially part of the gate keeping set for the World Wide Web. Things are about to change and go private leaving the Internet, hopefully, less controlled by governments. CCTV America's Mike Walters asked him what sorts of complaints he usually gets working as ombudsman for ICANN.