ICANN and U.S. Department of Commerce sign accord on Internet governance

ICANN and the U.S. Department of Commerce have signed an historic Affirmation agreement supporting the ICANN model of international multi-stakeholder and bottom-up governance of the global Internet addressing system.

More than a decade ago it was envisioned that the Internet’s addressing system would be coordinated by a private, multi-stakeholder, non-profit corporation, specifically ICANN. The rationale was that the Internet not be controlled by any single government, group of governments or special interest.

“A decade ago the US government was a catalyst for a global discussion on how to coordinate the vital resource that is the Internet’s unique identifiers,” said Peter Dengate Thrush, ICANN’s Chairman of the Board. “They understood that it needed to be coordinated not controlled. That vision has been affirmed in the model of private sector leadership that ICANN represents.”

Under the Affirmation agreement, the U.S. will remain committed to participation in ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). The agreement also mandates that ICANN’s accountability to the Internet community must be reviewed at least every 3 years by a committee made up of representatives of the community, which will include the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Communications and Information of the Department of Commerce.

Global business and Internet leaders welcomed news of the Affirmation agreement.

“The Affirmation of Commitments by ICANN and DOC fulfills a long- standing objective of the original formation of ICANN: to create an organization that can serve the world’s interest in a robust, reliable and interoperable Internet.” – Vint Cerf, co-inventor of the Internet.

“Google and its users depend every day on a vibrant and expanding Internet; we endorse this Affirmation and applaud the maturing of ICANN’s role in the provision of Internet stability.” – Eric Schmidt, Google CEO.

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