The presence of Internet technology has become both a boon and a bane for people and societies because it has largely affected how they act, think and go over their daily lives. While the very few claims they can live without it, the majority admits it can no longer imagine oneself walking, eating and breathing without the technology. In many ways, it has become one's lifeblood.

With this technology, however, are undeniable risks for the users such as cyber bullying, hacking, spying, censorship and many other issues that threaten the peace and wellbeing of an individual.

That has been in fact one of the concerns of some lawmakers in the U.S. when the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce announced on March 14 that it intends to put an end to its formal relationship with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which has managed the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS) since 1998. The contract between the U.S. and ICANN will expire in September 2015.

"The timing is right to start the transition process. We look forward to ICANN convening stakeholders across the global Internet community to craft an appropriate transition plan," said Lawrence E. Strickling, assistant secretary of commerce for Communications and Information.

ICANN manages the address book of the Internet and assists in keeping the web in order by taking care of the numeric addresses assigned to each web address, which guarantees that users find the proper content in websites.

On the other hand, NTIA stands as the adviser of the President on telecommunications and information policy issues, which has its main focus on developing broadband Internet access and adoption in America and on guaranteeing the Internet remains an instrument for continued innovation and economic growth, among other things.

However, several lawmakers fear that such transition plan could push China, Russia, Iran and other countries to control and constrain the openness of the worldwide web as well as to bring about more restrictive governance policies on Internet use.

Fadi Chehadé, president and CEO of ICANN, dispelled this fear and set the record straight in his blog post.

He said the announcement doesn't mean the U.S. will surrender control of the Internet to China, Russia or to other countries of the government-led organization. Neither will it allow any authority to command how the Internet functions in the U.S.

He also said the move will not bring limits to the free Internet access enjoyed by billions of users. Neither will it also lead to a partition of the Internet into several smaller broken pieces that are less technically resilient.

He explained that even with the multi-stakeholder model, countries that try to limit the openness and freedom of the worldwide web would be monitored and restricted to do so.

"The announcement is NOT the final decision. Without an acceptable proposal, the U.S. will NOT transition stewardship," Chehadé clarified.

Recall that former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden disclosed some data on how the U.S. intelligence officials skim through Internet traffic. This disclosure has led other governments to pressure the U.S. to officially shed its stewardship over ICANN, a move said to be well received by diverse consumer advocacy groups and technology companies. However, three members of the House initiated a legislation that would stop the NTIA to shed stewardship of ICANN unless the Congress reviews a non-partisan study that would present the effects of such move.

ICANN, meanwhile, is currently on deliberation since last week on how to create a new oversight mechanism that will not be limited to governments as promised by U.S. officials. The result of such discussions will be publicly posted on April 7 for any supplementary comment.

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