by Paul Rosenzweig
The Heritage Foundation
May 05, 2014
In March 2014, the Department of Commerce announced its intention to transfer the Internet Assigned Name Authority (IANA) function to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Any decision to do so should proceed only with great caution. We should be cognizant of four basic points: First, the IANA function is a central driver of economic and political freedom around the globe. Any change to its governance comes with significant potential risks (and also potential gains). Second, the transition to ICANN raises technical, political, and financial concerns. This, in turn, suggests that before any transition of IANA governance to ICANN occurs the US government should assure itself that ICANN will establish a new structure that meets three tests: competence, candor, and control. Finally, some transition in likely to happen, but the US has an obligation to make sure the transition goes well.



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