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NTIA and ICANN Renew Agreement

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An agreement reached by the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was praised Wednesday by Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., Chairman of the Communications, Technology, and the Internet Subcommittee.

“It will help insure that the Internet remains stable and secure for the people around the world who use it for work, study, entertainment, or to stay in touch with family and friends,” read the statement.

This new arrangement brings to an end the series of short-term agreements between the U.S. government and ICANN.  With this agreement, ICANN will continue to manage the Internet’s global Domain Name System while agreeing to a series of review processes to help it assess and improve its mission and operations.  The NTIA, an arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce, will continue its relationship with ICANN.

The Affirmation ensures the global Internet stakeholder community of permanent accountability mechanisms hard-coded into ICANN’s continued evolution as a private sector led organization, commented Michael Palage, adjunct fellow at the Progress & Freedom Foundation and a former ICANN Board Member.

“The Affirmation of Commitments recognizes ICANN’s accomplishments to date as the global trustee of the Internet’s unique identifiers and creates permanent accountability mechanisms in which other governments and the private sector can participate on an equal basis with the U.S. government,” he said, adding that the broader International community should welcome this decentralization of ICANN’s accountability framework, which is consistent with the management principles championed by ICANN’s new CEO, Rod Beckstrom.

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