A plan to turn over control of the Internet from the U.S. government to the nonprofit that has contractually overseen it was unveiled March 10 and sent to the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration to start the approval and transition process.
Under the plan, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, will assume control of the process of assigning the numerical IP addresses to the more familiar Web addresses. The notion of turning control over to the nonprofit began in the late 1990s. But before ICANN could assume total control, the U.S. government first insisted the nonprofit come up with a plan that shows the system is stabile, will guarantee an open Internet and there are controls in place that will not allow one country to dominate control of the Internet.
The plan now has to be approved by the U.S. government. If approved, implementation can occur before September.
There has been concern in Congress over the plan. Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and others have voiced concerns over ICANN, specifically its CEO, and its relationship with China. Cruz and others are concerned that Chinese censorship could work its ay into ICANN. A letter dated March 3 from Cruz and two other senators was sent to ICANN chairman Steve Crocker, asking several questions meant to get more information regarding ICANN and China.