Friday, July 28, 2006

US relinquishes hold on Internet

Yesterday happened to be a Red letter day in the history of Internet, thought I must say that it failed to impress the general public of the significance of the event. The event in focus was the announcement by the United States of America that it can no longer expect to maintain its position as the ultimate authority over the internet.

Having been the internet's instigator and, since 1998, its voluntary taskmaster, the US government finally agreed to transition its control over not-for-profit internet overseeing organization ICANN, making the organization a more international body. The Register though reports that the US made it clear that it intends to keep control over the net's root zone file, at least for the medium term during which the transition of power to ICANN to make changes to the authoritative root takes place.


The event assumes significance coz it clearly means two things.

  1. Countries could breathe a lot freely now that they can be sure that the US would not attempt an Internet shutdown in the country which exercises power in a way that may not please the US too much, thereby crippling these countries to a large extent. Governments would be encouraged to embrace e-governance much more faster than before.
  2. What it also means is that the Internet would evolve much faster now that contributions towards its improvement might be accepted from all quarters of the world.
These both would go a long way in helping Internet become a ubiquitous medium of communication in countries across the globe and that would mean an accelerated path of growth for developing countries like India. Hail the US decision.



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