For decades the United States government was in control of the website addresses (net address book) on the Internet, but that is no longer the case. The US government has handed over control to a non-profit organisation called ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). The transfer involved the Domain Name System (DNS) that help convert web addresses (like google.com) into numerical language that computers use to communicate with.
According to a Cnet report, the plan had been in the works for many years, but has not found popularity with most Americans. One of the key objectors to the proposal was Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who had tried to block the transfer on many earlier occasions.
“Imagine an internet run like many Middle Eastern countries that punish what they deem to be blasphemy,” Cruz said at a congressional hearing on September 14. “Or imagine an internet run like China or Russia that punish and incarcerate those who engage in political dissent.”
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ICANN’s board member Stephen Crocker had said in a statement that such fears are misguided and overblown.
ICANN is a non-profit organisation responsible for coordinating the procedures of databases related to namespace on the Internet and for coordinating maintenance – ensuring network’s secure and stable operation. ICANN is a technical organisation that does not have the ability to control content on the Internet. The change will however have no affect on how we use the Internet.
The intent to do this transition was first proposed more than a decades ago, but active work on it only began in 2014. ICANN will continue to do what it has been doing since the organisation came to being in 1999.