Earlier this month, the United Stated government relinquished all control over the internet to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN is a nonprofit organization comprised of technical experts and representatives of the government and business sectors. What ICANN received was essentially the internet’s address book. They are now in charge of the domain name system (DNS). The DNS translates the Web addresses into the numerical language that computers use to communicate.
Many like that the internet has been removed from government control but others fear this may lead to censorship since ICANN is not bound by the First Amendment. ICANN has tried to relieve these concerns by stating that they are a technical organization and will in no way regulate content and would ensure an open internet. Even with these assurances, the attorneys general of several states filed a lawsuit trying to block the handoff.
The Internet governance Coalition, which is comprised of companies including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Verizon, approved of the move with the wait-and-see attitude. They see this as a step in the right direction but want to be sure that ICANN remains transparent and accountable.