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U.S. Intends To Preserve Security of Internet Domain System


July 03, 2005

The U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issued a new statement of policy Thursday, expressing the U.S. intent to maintain its oversight of the operation of the Internet's Domain Name and Addressing System (DNS).

DNS is the system that allows online users to name Web pages and e-mail boxes and allows Internet applications to read and recognize those names so users can reliably navigate online.

This system relies on 13 root servers that are privately operated computers containing the files that list names and numeric Internet protocol addresses of the DNS servers for all top-level domains (TLDs) such as dot-org, dot-com, dot-edu, dot-int and others. Established by the U.S. Commerce Department in 1998, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) decides what goes in those files.

The NTIA statement calls for ICANN to maintain its position as the appropriate technical manager of the Internet DNS.

In the international discussion of Internet management, some governments and groups advocate different forms of Internet governance, a matter that will receive further attention with the approach of the World Summit on the Information Society to be held in Tunis in November. As a prelude to that meeting, a U.N. panel is preparing new recommendations on Internet management.

The U.S. policy statement also acknowledges the interests governments have in managing their country code top-level domains, and expresses commitment to working with governments to address sovereignty concerns while ensuring DNS stability.



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