Hearings on ICANN Privatization Set

The U.S. Commerce Department has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday to discuss the progress toward privatization of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit organization it currently controls. While a transition is scheduled to take place on September 30, the U.S. government has the option to extend that deadline. Foreign governments have pushed for such a change, complaining that the United States has too much control.

It has become a worry among some Internet analysts that continued control by the U.S. could result in a fracture of the Internet, where countries break off and run their own domain name servers. However, some are cautioning against an independent ICANN. "ICANN has definitely made progress towards independence, but more needs to be accomplished before a complete transition is appropriate," Steve DelBianco, Executive Director for interest group NetChoice said.

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