back to article Internet handover is go-go-go! ICANN to take IANA from US govt

The most significant change in the internet's functioning for a generation happened on 30 September at midnight. At 12.01am Washington DC time, the US government walked away from the IANA contract, which has defined how the internet has grown and been structured for nearly 20 years, and hand it over to non-profit organization …

  1. PJF

    So, as of

    00:01 UTC, 1 OCT 16, all addresses will point to

    I'll get my --->

    1. Oh Homer

      So let's get this straight...

      Total control of the entire world's Interwebs has just passed from the corporate-owned American government directly to a private American corporation.

      Or as ICANN would put it: One World. One Internet. One CEO.

  2. Mark 85

    I'm still not sure if we should overjoyed at this or very scared. The UN's politics and meddling, ICANN's lack of accountability are a problem that will come back to bite the internet. On the other hand, freedom from any individual government's contractural control is probably good but that's countered by any under the table exchange of presents with ICANN that might happen.

    This may be the best that can happen although getting ICANN to be more accountable doesn't seem likely and the best shot at doing this is now lost.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      UN is not the problem

      The problem is not in UN per se. The problem is that anything related to communications UN hands down more or less automatically to the sole remaining dinosaur from the failed League of Nations - the ITU.

      This organization is dominated by large incumbent telcos which will fight tooth and nail to reintroduce financial models of the bygone age. If you leave it to the ITU you will have a phone bill with your websites vizited itemized, billed per visit and time spent and a long distance browsing page at the end of the bill at long distance browsing rate.

      So as far as evils go, the LEAST evil would have been to create a new agency under UN which will be chartered as non-ITU. That however would have never happened - nearly all Arabic states as well as all banana republics still have a monopoly incumbent operator often owned by the state. They form a sufficient majority to prevent this as well vote through handing this to the ITU if ever given a chance.

      This is why the USA government chose the lesser out of the two evils - ICANN as we know it.

    2. dmacleo


      time will tell though.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doom I tell you

    We have relinquished control, and repressive regimes which dominate the UN will eventually get their way, the free internet breathes its last gasp.

    1. JohnG

      Re: Doom I tell you

      Under "the repressive regimes that dominate the UN", the ITU has managed to have international direct dialling between countries around the world for decades - even when some US politicians would have happily seen some countries isolated.

      It wasn't Snowden's revelations that altered the situation - it was the declarations from both Russia and China that they would go their own way and ignore ICANN/IANA if the US control didn't end. The Russians are apparently going ahead with measures that will allow the Russian government to control routing and DNS within the country. This includes maintaining their own IP allocation and DNS databases. It would allow the Russian government to isolate the country's Internet or to severely restrict traffic heading in or out of the country.

      Do you think the USA would not do likewise, if IANA and ICANN were sitting in some foreign country?

      1. phicoh

        Re: Doom I tell you

        I wonder how you think the Russian government would manage IP allocations. They cannot get addresses from IANA, and there is also no policy in the RIPE region (or any other RIR) that allows governments to requests large blocks of addresses.

        Note that the DNS root is managed by a US company and that none of the root servers are managed by companies in Russia or China. Worse, interfering with DNS causes DNSSEC validation to fail. Short term, just getting people to disable DNSSEC will work, long term that is probably not a good idea.

        Which leaves Russia or China trying to influence ICANN. But by and large, ICANN decides what new names to add to the root and which company can operate that space. There is no direct influence on existing domains.

        In contrast, the US government has proven multiple times quite willing to violate people right by directly interfering with the operation of the .com zone.

        For for me, as someone living outside the US, the US government is actually the worst government in the world when it comes to interfering with the operation of the internet. Needless to say, other governments would love to have this power, but don't have it.

        But still, the US government is currently abusing this power. So much for free speech.

    2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Doom I tell you

      The Internet's breathing? My dear sir^H^H^Hbot, you have been sadly misinformed - please turn yourself off and try rebooting.

    3. ZootCadillac

      Re: Doom I tell you

      Who is we? I'm curious why you think that the internet should remain in the control of a government that represents 4.4% of the total world population?

      1. Kurt Meyer

        Re: Doom I tell you

        @ ZootCadillac

        I'm curious why you picked percentage of the world's population to use for your statement. If that is to be the measurement, shouldn't we hand everything to the Chinese? Surely with them in control of international standards of every sort, our troubles will be over, our lives worry free.

        1. ZootCadillac

          @Kurt Meyer Re: Doom I tell you

          I picked that to make precisely the point that no single country should be controlling the internet. You are reading too much into what I said. It's not that the biggest country should be in control but that no government should be in control.

          It should be under the control of an independent body who represents the interests of the global user base.

          The US Government is not representative of anybody but its citizens. They do not speak for or have responsibility for 95% of the world. So that's why i chose that for my statement. I hope that sates your curiosity.

          1. Kurt Meyer

            Re: @Kurt Meyer Doom I tell you

            @ ZootCadillac

            "I hope that sates your curiosity."

            It does, and thank you for your well written post in reply to my question.

            I agree wholeheartedly with your statement that "The US government is not representative of anybody but its citizens. They do not speak for or have responsibility for 95% of the world."

            Not for the last time, I would that my government thought the same.

            The many, many, ramifications of that attitude are perhaps best left for another time, and another thread.

            To return to the subject of internet governance, I am of two minds. On the one hand as you say, it doesn't seem right that any single nation have control of the internet.

            As you are no doubt aware, nations act in their own interests first, last, and always. This may, or may not, coincide with the interest of other nations at any given time.

            To allow another nation to have control of a vital resouce requires a level of trust that does not exist today, if indeed it ever existed.

            Given that lack of trust, where do we turn? I (and many others around the world) am not convinced of the trustworthiness of many of the "independent international bodies" that have attempted to regulate or administer international interests.

            The lack of trust does not spring only from chauvinism, jingoism, or nationalism. It comes from the conduct of many of the existing international bodies, The UN, FIFA, The IOC, and many, many others too numerous to mention.

            Their performance has been mixed in the opinion of many, and while international governance of the internet will represent a change from it's present state, the hope of greater trustworthiness may prove to be ephemeral.

            This may actually be of benefit to the US, in that the mistrust will be spread amongst the members of this group rather than the current focus on a single country.

          2. ITS Retired

            Re: @Kurt Meyer Doom I tell you

            "The US Government is not representative of anybody but its citizens."

            The US Government does not even represent a good share of its own citizens.

            The proof is in how and who we "elect" for our leaders

            1. Kurt Meyer

              Re: @Kurt Meyer Doom I tell you

              @ ITS Retired

              ZootCadillac said:"The US government is not representative of anybody but its citizens."

              You said:"The US Government does not even represent a good share of its own citizens."

              Both statements are true, in my opinion.

              True because the US government is the sole representative of the United States, and only the United States, when it engages in international relations with other governments.

              True because of the large percentage of US citizens who voted for candidates other than the winning candidates, said winners then forming the government.

              I'd bet a dollar to a donut that an old hand like you knows that nobody wins 100% of any national election. Even the totalitarian states haven't managed that. There will always be those whose views are not represented at the national level.

            2. Elf

              Re: @Kurt Meyer Doom I tell you

              ... You beat me to it. Beer for you because I didn't have to say it.

          3. Jeffrey Nonken

            Re: @Kurt Meyer Doom I tell you

            "The US Government is not representative of anybody but its citizens."

            ...And they do a pretty piss-poor job of that, too.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "It should be under the control of an independent body who represents... the user base"

            Name one that actually works that way... wishful thinking, maybe?

  4. Josie1

    Another nail in the coffin of out freedoms, compliments of the U.S. government traders. They won't be satisfied till all our freedoms are gone and of course most of the Judges are in the establishments pocket. I'm sure Obama scrawny butt is grinning ear to ear. Be glad to see his scrawny butt exiting the Whitehouse door.

    1. Ole Juul

      And sale of guns will go up in USA. ... buncha loonies.

      1. Kurt Meyer


        @ Ole Juul

        "... buncha loonies."

        Yes Ole, sadly there are a bunch of loonies in the US. In much the same way there are a bunch of loonies in your country, and every other country on the planet.

        Ole, I want to make clear that what follows is not directed at you personally.

        The local loonies make a handy stick with which to beat any given nation, but should we judge any entire nation based on the existence of Pelle, Mosley, Quisling, or Mussert? Or their modern day equivalents?

        I think not, and I'll wager that you, Ole, feel the same way. Yet that judging occurs every day on these pages, and again, sadly, shows no signs of stopping.

        1. Ole Juul

          Re: Loonies

          @Kurt Meyer I think you didn't catch the gist. Of course there are loonies everywhere and I completely understand your message. However, you may not have noticed, like I have, the number of posts on DNS forums and IRC looking for alternatives to ICANN because they are afraid that the UN will censor sites talking about guns. Do you really think this is not remarkable? My comment was not a generalised one but targeted directly at DNS interests which is the topic of this article.

          1. Kurt Meyer

            Re: Loonies

            @ Ole Juul

            Ole, I confess I did not get that gist from your previous post, which was admirable in it's brevity.

            After reading your second post, I now see more clearly what you referred to in your first post. I will freely admit to spending no time whatsoever on DNS forums, and my IRC time is spent in other pursuits.

            "...because they are afraid that the UN will censor sites talking about guns. Do you really think this is not remarkable?"

            First let me guess that you are a citizen of a happy land (not the US) where people far outnumber firearms. I admit I have little evidence beyond your sensible posts over the years, and your handle, here on El Reg, on which to base my assumption. I could certainly be wrong.

            To answer your question directly; No I do not think this is remarkable, and I will tell you why.

            Here in the US, the subject of "gun control" is unavoidable, or nearly so, to a degree that leaves observers of this country dumbfounded, to say nothing of actual visitors. Or, in fact, many of the citizenry.

            Whether an individual is "Anti" or "Pro", there is a surfeit of talk on this issue. Since the US has, like every other land, the full spectrum of human intelligence represented in it's population, some of the talk is well reasoned, and much of it is not.

            The sort of talk that you (and others) find remarkable is so commonplace here that for many of us it becomes no more than an annoying background noise, and as welcome as your neighbor tuning his motor on a quiet Sunday morning.

            Sad to say, it comes as no surprise to find that the lunatic fringe, "Anti" or "Pro", is present on any forum.

    2. Mark 85

      I'm sure Obama scrawny butt is grinning ear to ear.

      That doesn't paint a pretty picture. I sure wouldn't want to see it but I'm still needing mind bleach from that description.

    3. katgod


      Is the size of the presidents butt important to you? Do you also find that his skin is too dark for your liking or is it just his butt?

  5. Josie1

    Another nail in our freedom coffin by our treasonous government and judge that is in the establishments pocket. I'm sure illegal Obama is grinning his scrawny butt off. We'll be grinning out butts off when he exits the door of the Whitehouse. God willing...

    1. Steve Knox

      Take your pills, dear.

    2. hplasm

      "God willing..."

      I hate to break it to you but... God hates you.

    3. ZootCadillac

      god willing?

      Hey, in god YOU trust. Leave the rest of us to take responsibility for ourselves.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't worry Josie1, Trump will sort all this out

  6. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    It still seems to be working this morning.

    Time to get some popcorn, perhaps.

    1. kmac499

      Re: It still seems to be working this morning.

      Yeah well; if and when it starts to get a tad expensive and we in the UK are banned from watching pro-celebrity Morris Dancing videos; we can always hold a referundum and "Take Back Control".

      (Well it worked as a slogan last time... )

      Then to align phone numbers and IP numbers we can renumber everything starting with

  7. toray99

    All of Europe would be speaking German if it wasn't for US !

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not sure if the above post is an attempt at a wind-up or not.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "Not sure if the above post is an attempt at a wind-up or not."

        It seems to be a second new poster who has just signed up here* to talk political bollocks. I don't know what's brought them out of the woodwork. Maybe they were attempting to prove that the net wouldn't work without the US Govt's hand on the tiller in which case the fact that their posts appeared here mark their failure.

        *Of course it could be the same person who signed up twice.

      2. Kurt Meyer


        @ AC

        I'm going with "not".

    2. hplasm

      "All of Europe would be speaking German if it wasn't for US !"

      All of Europe would be speaking proper English if it wasn't for US !

    3. Nolveys

      All of Europe would be speaking German if it wasn't for US !

      Shouldn't that be Russian?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You mean those Russian able to combat just thanks to US food, ammunitions and vehicles? Those Russian who didn't declare war to Japan for the fear of losing all the ports on the Pacific immediately and see a lot of those supply lines severed?

        Without they would have starved far before Germany military power was crippled by US and UK bombing over Germany, and blockade of any sea supply...

    4. Primus Secundus Tertius

      Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein ICANN.

    5. Reg T.


      Soon after WWII, the world began speaking in zeros and ones - the Neo-common language.

  8. Gde


    While a nice idea, I have doubts regarding long-term results. I'm thinking politics and money will not act in the best interests of open communication and on-line freedom.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm...

      It's now being run by a committee, so there's no way they'll get around to taking away people's freedom because they've still got to argue over the minutes of the agenda from last week.

  9. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Thank you Kieren!

    An excellent summery without any of the panic that I see in the US media. And neatly pointing out - without saying so - why this is a complete non-issue to anyone with a brain cell.

    1. a_yank_lurker

      Re: Thank you Kieren!

      My take is this just switches control from one group of slimes/criminals to another group of slimes/criminals. How much effect it will have on a specific group depends on how the new group feels about them. For most, I doubt there will be much change especially in the near term. Long term, that is murkier but for most there probably will not be much change.

  10. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    El Reg headline writers slipping.

    I'd have expected ICANN do it!!!

    1. Kurt Meyer

      Re: El Reg headline writers slipping.

      They have been for a very, very, long time.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Well, on one hand I am glad this is over...

    But the way that ICANN is acting, I have a feeling that in 5 years they will be to the internet what the IOC is to global athletics.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Im sure this won't affect pricing at all.

  13. hypernovasoftware

    Big mistake. Thanks Obama you a**hole!

  14. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "it will be the internet's users [..] who will ultimately decide"

    Nope, wrong. It's going to be a very small group of people who have the habit of making arbitrary decisions without any regard for transparency, disclosure or even their own procedures who will decide.

    And when you tell them just how wrong their decision is, they just look at you as if you are crazy and declare that the decision is right because they decide it is. And the absolutely unbelievable thing is that they are still not in jail for contempt of the Human race.

    What could possibly go wrong ?

  15. J. R. Hartley

    ICANN see where this is going

    I can't really. I just liked that title.

  16. Yes Me Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Roll up

    Rolling up several comments that show how this whole issue has been misunderstood:

    > To return to the subject of internet governance...

    No, that isn't the subject. ICANN just deals with clerical (registration) details and the sensitive issue of international generic top level domain names. Most Internet governance issues have nothing whatever to do with ICANN.

    >...this just switches control from one group of slimes/criminals to another group of slimes/criminals...

    No. It switches oversight of ICANN from an office of the US Government to several groups representing Internet stakeholders world-wide.

    > ...the way that ICANN is acting, I have a feeling that in 5 years they will be to the internet what the IOC is to global athletics.

    That's *exactly* why the oversight needed to be switched to the stakeholder communities.

    > Im sure this won't affect pricing at all

    If that was intended sarcastically, you're barking up the wrong tree. Pricing is set by local registrars and operators. ICANN gets its share indirectly.

    For another view see here.

  17. Elf

    Right, let's cut this into some Capitalism chunks for a second:

    1. The Porn Must And Will Flow. - I use this all the time to describe how some problems are just not going to be problems from a commercial perspetive. Amazon isn't going to be turned off and you can still get a vibrator and inflatable sheep delivered in time for the stag party (what, Books? You kinky bastard! Bugger off...creep) for the forseeable future.

    2. Speech is already a problem, will continue to be a problem, will escalate as a problem. This is a shell game shaped like an onion and we are all just getting *started* on this one my friends.

    3. My country has been playing ENTIRELY TOO EFFING fast and loose with a good many things Digital of late.

    Look, I'm a realist and I see no less than a dozen right disasters on the horizon without expending any real effort to do so. That being said, they are entirely *different*, and I think *more* manageable than the three dozen cluster-fucks I'm looking at Right Now (er, yesterday). At any rate, we are all about to find out shortly at any rate.

    ... Lots of us here have been doing this shit for a while (perhaps Too long). Our industry *is* change: 25/8/366, it's what we do. This is just another one. *Punches Arm* Come-on guys, this'll be fun!

  18. Anonymous Coward


    I Am Not An ICANN?

  19. dave 81

    Let just make our own internet.

    With hookers and blackjack...

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