Internet Name Wars US Tries To Take Control

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Internet domain name manager ICANN is fighting to keep its control over the Net after an agency of the US Department of Commerce knocked back its proposal for a new contract. It has been given six months to come up with a better proposition.

ICANN – the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – has historically delivered what’s known as the IANA functions of the Net under a contract with the Commerce Department. (IANA stands for Internet Assigned Numbers Authority).

With the contract up for renewal in coming months, the department had called a new request for proposals (RFP), with conditions including increased consultation and reporting requirements.

But at the weekend an agency of the Commerce Department, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) said it had received “no proposals that met the requirements requested by the global community”.

The RFP will now be re-run, with ICANN’s contract extended for six months during the process.

Some of the new requirements, according to the NTIA’s notice issued on March 10, included “separation of policy-making from implementation, a robust company-wide conflict-of-in terest policy, provisions reflecting heightened respect for local company laws, and a series of consultation and reporting requirements to increase transparency and accountability to the international community”.

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