US to continue role in ICANN governance

Snip from Ars Technica item by Eric Bangeman, which directly contradicts another story circulating widely on blogs today:

Over the past couple of years, the issue of Internet governance has become a hot topic. Currently, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is responsible for parceling out IP addresses and domain names. In turn, ICANN operates under the auspices of the US Commerce Department, an arrangement that doesn't sit too well with parts of Europe, the UN, and many developing nations.

Contrary to some reports, things are not about to change. After a meeting at the Commerce Department, Acting Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, John M.R. Kneuer, said that the existing arrangement was likely to continue, at least for another year. "There certainly are still strong arguments that there's more work to be done," said Kneuer.


Reader comment:

Ntwiga says,

A key component behind to maintaining control of the net's root zone file was a letter that Condoleezza Rice sent in her capacity as Secretary of State to the EU through Jack Straw, the UK's Foreign Secretary. The content of the letter basically boiled down to telling the EU that almost everything else was negotiable but control the root zone file was not.

Another interesting development is the Burr Proposal: a private plan to "to outline a practical, concrete pathway for eliminating one of the most important
sources of contention in the ICANN debate – the United States' retained, exclusive, and unilateral authority
over the Internet's authoritative root."

A pdf outlining this plan can be found at this link.