Internet Addressing System To Transition To ICANN As Planned After Last-Ditch Effort To Derail Fails In Court

BY Heather Greenfield
September 30, 2016

Washington — The Department of Commerce is scheduled to transition administration of the technical underpinnings of the Internet’s addressing system to the private sector-led multi-stakeholder community October 1. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, has been preparing and executing what is known as the IANA stewardship transition for two years.

The transition comes after years of planning and weeks of last minute attempts by some in Congress and elsewhere to derail this transition of technical functions that has been in the works since 1998. Yesterday, Attorneys General from four states, who appeared to not understand the political ramifications, technical facts, or long history of the planned transition, tried an 11th hour legal maneuver to block the transition. CCIA joined 14 other organizations and individuals in filing an amicus brief to support the transition in advance of a hearing on the matter today. The court ultimately ruled that the IANA stewardship transition should not be delayed.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association and other tech groups have long supported the transition as the best way to support a sustainable form of Internet governance with the support of like-minded democratic countries which believe in free speech.

The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“This is a symbolic, but important step in preserving the stability and openness of the Internet, which impacts free speech, our economy and our national security.”

“While the transition involves a clerical function that helps ensure internet addresses get routed correctly, having a nonprofit, multi-stakeholder body directed by NGOs, companies and Internet users oversee the administration preserves the spirit and openness of Internet governance. It is important for our own integrity with international allies and the integrity of the Internet that this was not delayed.”

For additional background on this issue, please see Black’s Huffington Post column, “Congress Makes Mountains Out Of Digital Molehills,” here.


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