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New ICANN Agreement Loosens US Government Hold

by Glen Shapiro, LawAndTax-News.com, New York

06 October 2006


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) last week signed a new agreement with the United States Department of Commerce (DOC) that is a dramatic step forward for full management of the Internet's system of centrally coordinated identifiers through the multi-stakeholder model of consultation that ICANN represents.

"ICANN has secured an agreement that recognizes it as being responsible for the management of the Internet's system of unique identifiers on an ongoing basis. It means ICANN is more autonomous," Dr Paul Twomey, President and CEO of ICANN announced.

Previous to this agreement, there was a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department Of Commerce and ICANN that was highly prescriptive. The MOU expired on September 30.

"The United States Department of Commerce has clearly signaled that multi-stakeholder management of the Internet's system of unique identifiers is the way ahead and ICANN is the obvious organization to take that responsibility," Dr Twomey stated.

The major changes under the new agreement are:

  • ICANN will no longer have its work prescribed for it;
  • ICANN is not required to report every 6 months as it has been under the MOU. It will now provide an annual report that will be targeted to the whole Internet community;
  • There is no requirement to report regularly to the DoC. The Commerce Department will simply meet with senior ICANN staff from time to time.


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