In a letter sent by bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to ICANN, the department has made it clear that despite recent discussions in Paris meetings, the U.S. department intends to remain in full authority over the Internet root zone.
"The Department believes strongly that it is important to clarify that we are not in discussions with either party to change the respective roles of the Department, ICANN or VeriSign regarding the management of the authoritative root zone file, nor do we have any plans to undertake such discussions," says Meredith Baker, NTIA's acting assistant secretary for communications and information. "Consistent with public statements made by the United States government starting in 2000 and reinforced by the 2005 U.S. Principles on the Internet's Domain Name and Addressing System, the Department, while open to operational efficiency measures that address governments’ legitimate public policy and sovereignty concerns with respect to the management of their ccTLD, has no plans to transition management of the authoritative root zone file to ICANN as suggested in the PSC documents."
Bret Fausett, long-time ICANN observers, says in a blog post today that "we've known this forever, and people close to the ICANN process have known it too. On one level, the letter is a little bit like stating that the sky is blue. But for those who have been looking at the sky through their rose colored glasses (which includes a lot of people in Europe and Asia), this letter may look like the U.S. just dropped a big bomb on the Internet."
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