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ICANN Gets Government Stamp of Approval

The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has approved proposals made by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and is poised to transfer the administration of the Domain Name System (DNS) from the government to the Internet group.

The government nod comes days after ICANN sent a letter of amended bylaws to Becky Burr, associate administrator at the NTIA. The group made several changes in response to vocal critics, such as The Boston Working Group and The Open Root Server Confederation, who complained the makeup of ICANN was not globally representative. Critics were also concerned meetings were not open to the public.

The NTIA is drafting a memorandum that officially recognizes ICANN is the private sector corporation it will work with in handing over the DNS reins. During an e-commerce event next Monday at the White House, the document will receive formal approval, with President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore on hand.

Both Magaziner and Burr said they supported the ICANN amendments. Although they are still concerned about certain points, they felt ICANN's structure was sound enough to approve the transfer.

"The consensus is that we should move forward, but there were serious concerns," Burr said.



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