More international oversight of Internet in new agreement

The US Commerce Department and the private sector corporation which administers the Web unveiled an agreement today that opens up the body to greater international oversight. The agreement creates four review panels which will include government representatives to examine the work of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in key areas.

ICANN is the California-based non-profit that manages the Domain Name System and Internet Protocol addresses that form the technical backbone of the Web. Since 1998, it has operated under an agreement with the US Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration. That agreement expires today and has been replaced with a new document called an “Affirmation of Commitments.”

“This new affirmation marks an exciting new stage in ICANN’s development as a truly international entity and it confirms, once and for all, that the ICANN model of public participation works, and works effectively,” said ICANN chief executive Rod Beckstrom. “It endorses a truly unique form of Internet governance, which is critical since every voice on the Internet is unique,” he added.