August 17, 2016

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US ready to ‘hand over’ the internet’s naming system –
The US has confirmed it is finally ready to cede power of the internet’s naming system, ending the almost 20-year process to hand over a crucial part of the internet’s governance. The Domain Naming System, DNS, is one of the internet’s most important components. It pairs the easy-to-remember web addresses – like – with their relevant servers. Without DNS, you’d only be able to access websites by typing in its IP address, a series of numbers such as “”. More by circumstance than intention, the US has always had ultimate say over how the DNS is controlled – but not for much longer. It will give up its power fully to Icann – the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – a non-profit organisation. The terms of the change were agreed upon in 2014, but it wasn’t until now that the US said it was finally satisfied that Icann was ready to make the change. Icann will get the “keys to the kingdom”, as one expert put it, on 1st October 2016. From that date, the US will lose its dominant voice – although Icann will remain in Los Angeles. Icann was created in 1998 to take over the task of assigning web addresses. Until that point, that job was handled by one man – Jon Postel. He was known to many as the “god of the internet”, a nod to his power over the internet, as well as his research work in creating some of the systems that underpin networking. [BBC]
Jon_PostelJon Postel in 2008

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