The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a California-based nonprofit firm in charge of assigning Internet domain names, will continue to be tied to the U.S. Commerce Department past the Sept. 30 expiration of their current memorandum of understanding, Reuters reports via USAToday.com.
The news comes from Commerce Department acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information John Kneuer, according to Reuters.
“We are working with ICANN to negotiate the next phase of our continued partnership,” Kneuer told the Senate Commerce Committee, Reuters reports.
The U.S. government currently has a hand in which entities are assigned what domain names via its involvement with ICANN, and it has come under fire in recent days from critics and other countries’ governments because they say it shouldn’t have such control of the international World Wide Web. Earlier this year, U.S. officials were blasted by the European Commission, Europe’s leading governmental body, for shooting down a planned “.xxx” domain that would’ve been used to denote pornographic websites, according to Reuters.
Last month, ICANN got a domain name oversight extension to 2011.
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