"On October 1st. Nearly two decades after it created the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body which oversees the internet’s address system, America’s government will let lapse a contract that gives it control over part of ICANN. This means that a crucial global resource will henceforth be managed by an organisation that is largely independent of national governments." [economist]
ICANN was created back in 1998 as a global org that allowed everybody with an interest in the smooth running of the Internet, whether they are officials, engineers, domain-name holders or internet users, a voice.
According to Dan York from the Internet Society, it isn't all that bad. "It is a good article, although I dislike the part at the beginning about "Whoever controls the Internet's address book can also censor the Internet" because that is a HUGE over-simplification. ICANN is NOT able to delete an individual domain. All it could do would be to delete a top-level domain (TLD), which would make ALL DOMAINS under that TLD inaccessible. The ramifications of this would be enormous and the backlash within the ICANN community would be huge - so ICANN would never do it without lengthy public discussion before. (It has never been done by ICANN to date). So the article gives ICANN more power than it actually has. (Which is really very little.)
The Internet still works. On to the next fire.