Meeting on US handing over internet control inconclusive

Singapore, March 27: A meeting to seek initial feedback on how the US government may hand over its stewardship of technical functions essential to the operation of internet domain system ended Thursday without concrete outcome.

There were still no clues as to the nature of the body to take over the stewardship from the US government, Xinhua reported.

The five-day meeting in Singapore, the first for the internet community since the US government announced its intention to relinquish control of internet March 14, is being convened by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Some ideas may emerge from a feedback document that is expected to be made public April 7, said Kuek Yu-Chuang, vice-president for Asia at ICANN.

Created in 1998, ICANN is a not-for-profit organisation in the US that has been overseeing the maintenance of internet-related databases, especially those related to the domain systems, and ensuring the stable and secure operation of internet under a contract with the US Department of Commerce that expires in September 2015.

The US government recently tasked ICANN with guiding the creation of a transition plan after it announced this month it will hand over the control of the internet’s technical operations to “multi-stakeholders” including IT professionals, businesses, governments, civil organisations and academia.

It has asked ICANN to convene the global community to develop the transition process from of the US stewardship to a global community consensus-driven mechanism, ICANN said.

However, there were no clues yet at the Singapore meeting on how the global stakeholder communities may be represented or the possible nature of the body to take over the stewardship.

At present, the US government has control over the top level domain names such as .com, .net and .org.

However, it has said that it will not accept proposals to hand over its current stewardship over the technical operations to any other government or organisations representing a group of governments, including the UN.

IANS