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SMALL BUSINESS NEWS

10 Apr 2014

 

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Giving Up Control of The Internet

 

On March 14, 2014 the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced its intent to transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multistakeholder community.

Currently NTIA contracts with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and Verisign to manage the database containing the list of names and addresses of all top-level domains.  IN other words they manag ethe Domain Name System (DNS).  This contract is currently schedule to run out September 30, 2015.

ICANN is a non-profit organization based in California.

High level domain names includes .com, .net, .org, .biz, etc.  Without buying a high level domain name you cannot setup and run your website.  Without the high level domain names there is no Internet.   Consumers gain access to these high level domain names through Domain Name Registrar Service Providers such as Godaddy, Register.com, Google, Network Solutions, Yahoo, etc. who contract with ICANN to provide this service to the public.  These registrar service providers lets you purchase a domain name such as myname.com, mycompany.biz, etc.  which includes a high level and lower level domain names.  Anytime a registrar offers this service they must pay an annual fee ($0.20) to ICANN and  ($5.62) to Verisign.  The Registrars make a profit by charging a higher price than the annual fee or by getting their customers to buy other services.

The Domain Name System (also referred to as Domain Name Service) is critical to the inner workings of the internet.  It is a series of servers throughout the Internet that enables communication across the internet by translating text into numbers that computers understand.  For example, when you type in www.google.com that gets translated to an Internet Protocol (IP) address that may look like 74.125.225.83.  The IP address is how computers on the Internet communicate with each other.

He who manages the high level domain names and the Domain Name System c ontrols the Internet. 

There are concerns that handing over control to an international body under the UN would give countries like Russia, China, Iran, etc. too much influence over the Internet that could result in less access.

Sources:
The National Telecommunications & Information Administration

ICANN
Verisign


By Owen Daniels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

  
 

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