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The IANA stewardship transition is the final step in a nearly two-decades long process by the U.S. Department of Commerce to transition the coordination and management of the domain name system to the private sector. This transition process has been supported by all U.S. presidential administrations since 1998.


The transition isn't the U.S. Government handing over the Internet to any one country, company or group. The truth is that nobody, including the U.S. Government, has a "control of the Internet" to hand over. The community of stakeholders that has flawlessly coordinated the Internet's domain name and addressing systems since their inception will continue to do so.

When our values of freedom and democracy spread around the world and are shared by others, we are more secure at home and the world is more stable. We support this stewardship transition, as it will pave the way for American values and the free and open Internet around the world."
Secretary Michael Chertoff and General James Cartwright

The Internet is a voluntary, trust-based system. A delay would introduce uncertainty, for both governments and businesses, which could have long-term social, cultural, political and economic impacts. It would also undermine the multistakeholder model of Internet governance that has been a foundation of the Internet's success.


Leading businesses have joined human and civil rights organizations in supporting the transition. Intel, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, HP, Dell, Cisco and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are among those expressing their support [PDF, 196 KB]. Civil society groups, including Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, Access Now, Article19, Centre for Democracy & Technology, Open Technology Institute, Public Knowledge and Ranking Digital Rights group have also expressed their support [PDF, 106 KB].


After the transition, Internet users will not notice any changes to their experience.


It's time to show that the Internet doesn't require government oversight. What it requires is operation by the private sector with all other entities."
- Vint Cerf
Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google
The genius of the Internet is that nobody owns it. The underlying system looks more secure – and is probably best protected by ICANN's global alliance of geeks, rather than any government or agency."
- David Ignatius
Washington Post
There are real costs to further delaying the transition, primarily in the sphere of international diplomacy."
- Eli Dourado
Mercatus Center


Click any of the links below to show the world that you support the #IANASteward transition.

I support the global Internet community and a timely completion of the #IANASteward transition on October 1 via @ICANN

I support the global Internet community and a timely completion of the #IANASteward transition on October 1 via @ICANN

I support the global Internet community and a timely completion of the #IANASteward transition on October 1 via @ICANN

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."