NTIA approves transition, but congress might be a roadblock.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today gave its approval of a community-led proposal to eliminate the U.S. government role in overseeing the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions.
The NTIA determined that the proposal meets all of its requirements, including not handing oversight over to a government-led organization:
The proposal does not replace NTIA’s role with a government-led or intergovernmental organization solution. The proposal eliminates NTIA’s verification and authorization role for root zone changes, and IANA functions performance oversight is replaced with direct customer stewardship via contracts, service-level expectations, community-led reviews, and increased transparency. The accountability provisions maintain the advisory role of governments within ICANN, and through bylaw changes, ensure that a government or a group of governments cannot capture or exercise undue influence over the DNS.
Indeed, it seems that the DNS will be more free from government meddling once the transition occurs:
This should assuage fears that China and Russia can team up to somehow make changes to the internet at large.
NTIA published a good FAQ that explains the transition, why it’s important, and why the sky won’t fall following the transition.
Yesterday, Ted Cruz introduced a bill that would thwart the transition based on the false premise that it would be like handing over decisions to authoritarian regimes. The bill also mentions control of the .mil and .gov top level domains. The FAQ addresses this.