The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is descending on Singapore for its 49th semi-annual meeting: #ICANN49. A week ago, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, dropped a bombshell - the United States would relinquish its oversight of key functions of the Internet: the "IANA functions." The NTIA decreed that ICANN would oversee the transition of this oversight to the "global stakeholder community," and the NTIA wanted it done by the end of September 2015, when the current "IANA contract" expires. This announcement changed the focus, the agenda, and the tone of the ICANN meeting. After the "Snowden revelations," it was clear that "Internet Governance" was going to be a major topic - but on a theoretical level, with no particular timeline and no particular role for ICANN. Now, with a real project, a real role and a real deadline, ICANN and the ICANN community are on the clock and under the microscope.… Continue Reading