The Free Internet Project

US turns over DNS control to ICANN amid controversy

The US Department of Commerce has given control of the Internet’s domain name server (DNS) to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN is a nonprofit organization composed of stakeholders who are technical experts, government representatives, and business representatives. The attorney generals of several states have filed a lawsuit to block the transfer. However, a federal judge has denied the request for injunctive relief.

Critics of the transfer fear that it will lead to authoritarian-level censorship. Senator Ted Cruz compared the transfer to Middle Eastern countries, as well as China and Russia, “that punish and incarcerate those who engage in political dissent.” ICANN has responded to such allegations by ensuring an open internet. The Internet Governance Coalition, a group composed of companies including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Verizon, has announced their efforts to ensure ICANN remain accountable and transparent. 

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