US government cedes control of internet plumbing
The US government has ceded control of the administration of the internet, handing over responsibility for the IP numbering network and domain name system (DNS) to the global community, according to reports. Although the handover has been anticipated for some time, pressure to do so swiftly has reportedly intensified since the Edward Snowden revelations about NSA spying, with critics complaining that the present system gives the US too much influence. The move will see responsibilities including the administration of changes to the DNS’s ‘root zone file’, which is the database that contains the lists of names and addresses of all top-level domain names, handed over, along with the managing of unique identifiers registries for domain names, IP addresses, and protocol parameters. Until now, not-for-profit organisation - Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) – has handled the processes, but when its current contract expires in September it will convene with stakeholders across the global internet community to work out a transition plan. Last week Edward Snowden spoke to delegates at the US conference SXSW, from a Google+ video feed (pictured above) where he is currently located in Russia. He reiterated his belief that his actions were correct and that the world has benefited as a result of his continues releasing of classified information on communications surveillance.