US makes about-turn on Internet directories

The U.S. government no longer plans to relinquish control of the root servers in the Internet DNS.

The U.S. government, in an unexpected about-turn, intends to indefinitely retain control over parts of the Domain Name System (DNS), the system that converts human-readable Internet addresses into computer-readable numerical addresses. Such addresses are used to direct traffic to Web sites or to deliver e-mail to the correct server.

"Given the Internet's importance to the world's economy, it is essential that the underlying DNS of the Internet remain stable and secure," and for this reason the U.S. aims to "maintain its historic role in authorizing changes or modifications to the authoritative root zone file," which is part of the DNS infrastructure, according to a statement published Thursday on the Web site of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Several years ago, the U.S. government put the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in charge of managing the 13 root name servers that serve as the Internet's master directories, telling Web browsers and e-mail programs how to direct traffic. Now, following Thursday's announcement, the U.S. appears determined to retain control.

The announcement is a departure from previous U.S. strategy, which indicated that the U.S. government would someday relinquish its control over the root name servers.

Reaching out to the global Internet community, the U.S. government said it recognizes that governments have a legitimate interest in the management of their country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) and that it will remain committed to working with them to address all concerns, but all participants should bear in mind "the fundamental need to ensure stability and security of the Internet's DNS."

The announcement comes as talks continue on the heated issue of Internet governance in the run-up to the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which will take place in Tunis, Tunisia, from Nov. 16 to Nov. 18. The summit is hosted by the United Nations.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Blau

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?