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."
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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