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News Link • Internet

U.S. Quietly Gives Up Control Over The Internet

•, By Kelsey D. Atherton
On Friday, the United States announced some very big news in a very boring way. The U.S. government is relinquishing its last official control over the internet. The phrasing chosen by the Department of Commerce announces its intent "to transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multistakeholder community."
Here's what that means. The U.S. government is giving up control over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN is the body that coordinates unique names for websites, making it responsible for the closest thing there is to fixed locations on the internet. For years, ICANN has contracted that function out to the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration. It's a wordy jumble for a vital function: Without the locations, browsers can't find sites. And a site that can't be found is a site that, for all intents and purposes, doesn't exist on the internet.

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