Close this menu

CIO Magazine – “US government to end formal relationship with ICANN”

CIO Magazine – “US government to end formal relationship with ICANN

U.S. trade group NetChoice questioned the decision. The announcement comes after a series of revelations about U.S. National Security Agency surveillance programs across the Internet, coming from leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

“I hope it’s not just a frightened reaction to the Snowden revelations, which have nothing to do with the Internet Domain Name System,” NetChoice executive director Steve DelBianco said by email. “Maybe the administration wants to rack up political points for upcoming [Internet governance] meetings. I’m afraid those points won’t be worth what this move may cost.”

The end of the contract means the NTIA will not be able to continue to push ICANN to improve its services, as it has in recent years, DelBianco said. “The IANA contract is the only real check on ICANN’s power,” he added. “While we all want a strong and independent ICANN, it makes no sense to release the organization from IANA’s contractual leverage before it creates real and permanent accountability mechanisms.”

In addition, ICANN could now “escape its legal presence in the US, despite having many contracts that are adjudicated under U.S. law,” he said.