Internet Transition Can’t Be Reversed, NTIA Chief Says

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By Alexis Kramer

Oct. 26 — The recently completed transition of internet technical function oversight can’t be reversed, Assistant Commerce Secretary Lawrence E. Strickling said Oct. 26.

“That contract is expired and can’t be brought back in this point of time,” Strickling, chief of the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, said at an internet governance event hosted by the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

Strickling's remarks signalled that transition opponents can't roll back the move.

The U.S. Commerce Department allowed its oversight contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the non-profit that coordinates the domain name system, to expire Oct. 1, under a plan that the global internet community spent two years developing. In September, GOP lawmakers attempted to insert language in a stopgap government funding bill to block the transition. Four state attorney generals filed a last-minute lawsuit, which they later dropped after a federal judge refused to halt the transition.

Strickling said that the Commerce Department had a separate contract with Verisign Inc., the company that manages the root zone file—or the top-level domain directory. Under that contract, Verisign couldn't make changes to that file without Commerce Department authorization. As of Oct. 1 the government no longer has this role, and “it isn't going to come back,” Strickling said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexis Kramer in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Perine at

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