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ICANN

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the not-for-profit entity responsible for the technical coordination of the Internet's domain name system (DNS). On September 30, 2009, NTIA, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce, reached agreement with ICANN on an Affirmation of Commitments that completed the transition of the technical coordination of the DNS to a multi-stakeholder, private-sector led model and contains provisions to ensure accountability and transparency in ICANN's decision-making with the goal of protecting the interests of global Internet users, as well as mechanisms to address the security stability, and resiliency of the Internet DNS.

NTIA represents the U.S. government in ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), which is structured to provide advice to the ICANN Board on the public policy aspects of the broad range of issues pending before ICANN.

Related content


Notice of Comment Periods on Transitioning NTIA’s IANA Stewardship Role

August 11, 2015

This notice announces the dates of a comment period during which the public is invited to provide input on two interrelated multistakeholder community proposals. Together, the proposals set forth a plan for transitioning NTIA’s stewardship role over the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions. The purpose of this notice is to encourage interested parties to comment on the two connected proposals—the IANA Stewardship Transition Plan and the Enhancements to Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Accountability Related to the IANA Stewardship Transition.

Let Your Voice be Heard on IANA Transition

August 4, 2015

Nearly 17 months ago, NTIA kicked off activities to complete the privatization of the Internet Domain Name System (DNS) as promised in 1998 by transitioning our stewardship role over  certain technical functions related to the DNS.

We have reached an important milestone in that process as the two working groups tasked with developing proposals related to the transition have released them for final comment.

These technical functions, known as the IANA functions, play an important but limited role in how the DNS and Internet operate. The DNS allows users to identify websites, mail servers, and other Internet destinations using easy-to-understand names (e.g., www.ntia.doc.gov) rather than the numeric network addresses (e.g., 170.110.225.163) necessary to retrieve information on the Internet.

The IANA transition will advance our commitment to ensuring that the Internet remains an engine for global economic growth, innovation and free speech.

Since March 2014, the Internet community – made up of technical experts, businesses and civil society – has spent hundreds of hours devising a transition proposal that aims to meet the principles we outlined, including preserving the openness, security and resiliency of the Internet.

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