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Internet Address Arbiter Proposed Transfer of Function to Private Sector

13 October 1998

Contact: Bob Calverley (213-740-4750)


email: calverle@usc.edu

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which now coordinates the Internet's address system, domain names and protocols, has submitted its proposal for future management of Internet names and addresses to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

In recently submitted written congressional testimony, Jon Postel, Ph.D., a research scientist at the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute (ISI) who has directed IANA since its inception, said "this proposal is the result of an extensive process of discussions and negotiations among a large number of interested people and organizations conferences and, most appropriately for this purpose, extensive use of the Internet with people all over the world."

IANA has been operating under a U.S. government contract. Last June, the NTIA issued a white paper calling on private-sector Internet stakeholders to form a not-for-profit corporation to administer policy for the Internet name and address system.

The new IANA proposal, written in response to this white paper, includes proposed articles of incorporation for a new, nonprofit public-benefit corporation to be called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), bylaws for the new organization, and a list of nominations for an interim board to govern it until a permanent board is elected. The new organization, formally incorporated in California, will not elect a board or adopt bylaws until the NTIA has completed reviewing the IANA proposal.

Dr. Postel said IANA will continue to function under its current government contract until the new organization is formed to take over its duties. Comments on IANA's proposal should be directed by email to comments@iana.org and will be posted electronically on the IANA website at http://www.iana.org. The transmittal letter to NTIA, the proposed articles of incorporation, bylaws and brief bios of the nominated board candidates are also posted on the IANA website.

Because he is recovering from surgery, Postel is currently unavailable for comment on specifics of the IANA proposal and transition. While Postel is recuperating, all functions of IANA will continue to be carried out reliably by ISI, and in accordance with the directions of the appropriate authority.



OCT. 13, 1998