ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is a global multistakeholder, not-for-profit private sector organization that manages Internet resources for the public benefit. It is best known for its role as technical coordinator of the Internet’s Domain Name System.
ICANN’s mission: an open, singular and secure Internet- fundamental pillars to sustaining the Internet’s growth and benefits. The multistakeholder model prevents fragmentation of the Internet and maintains its speed, security and openness.
To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer – a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn't have one global Internet.
The March 14, 2014 announcement by the US Government to transition the IANA functions stewardship to a global multistakeholder community marked an important juncture in the history of the Internet and its evolution. For this purpose, ICANN was asked by the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to convene an inclusive, global discussion to determine a process for transitioning the stewardship of these functions to the multistakeholder community. The US National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) specifically stated that the transition proposal must have broad community support and address the following four principles:
- Support and enhance the multistakeholder model;
- Maintain the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet DNS;
- Meet the needs and expectations of the global customers and partners of the IANA services; and,
- Maintain the openness of the Internet.
Plus reaffirming the United States support for the multistakeholder model of Internet governance, NTIA stated that would not accept a proposal that replaces the NTIA role with a government-led or an inter-governmental organization solution.
ICANN is now facilitating a transparent dialogue among governments, the private sector, and civil society and end users to determine a stewardship transition proposal that is globally accountable. This process ensures all of the Internet’s diverse stakeholders have a voice shaping the new stewardship structure.
In the evening of 26 May, 2015 ICANN President and Chief Executive Officer Fadi Chehadé will meet EIF members and friends in the European Parliament.
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