US To Seek Bids To Manage Key Aspect Of The Internet 25/10/2011 by Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service, and subscribing to our service helps support our goals of bringing more transparency to global IP and innovation policies. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You also have the opportunity to offer additional support to your subscription, or to donate. It is often said the internet was created in the United States, though techies around at the time are quick to point out the international efforts that were involved. Since its creation, US management of the internet domain name system has been internationalised through the creation and gradual independence of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). But the US has always kept its hand on one critical aspect of the internet – and is now putting it up for bid. At issue is the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), a little-known entity with the authority to make changes to the underlying internet, such as adding or removing websites. The US Department of Commerce has long contracted with ICANN to manage the IANA, but has announced it will put it up for bid on 4 November, with proposals due by 4 December. It is not clear whether the US is expecting to relinquish more of its control, however (and some long-time observers argue whether the US ever had the control is claims it has). Continued US control of the IANA has been a sore spot for years in international efforts to take the internet out of US hands. But the new contract will still be required to be a US entity. The US has moved aggressively under the Obama administration to unilaterally take down websites it deems to be violating intellectual property rights. In addition, trademark holders are up in arms over an ICANN plan to open the internet to new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) like .com or .net. The pre-announcement of the US request for proposals is here. "US To Seek Bids To Manage Key Aspect Of The Internet" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.