On October 1, 2016, the ICANN/IANA transition officially went into effect. This means the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) now controls the “address book” for the Internet. This address book includes the root zone database and the Internet’s domain name system (DNS), which ICANN is now responsible for administering and maintaining. ICANN is an independent organization comprised of corporations, governments and individuals – also referred to as a “global multi-stakeholder community.”
With the transition, ICANN now owns the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). IANA can be thought of as “the database that stores all Internet domains.” Prior to the transition, the United States government’s Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) oversaw ICANN. There were previous concerns it was unfair for a single government to have control over a global entity like the Internet.
The general response to the transition is positive, with many seeing it as a victory. By transitioning oversight, it’s being said the Internet now belongs to “everyone.” Others are not so happy with the transition, saying that ICANN has accountability problems. There was a last-minute attempt made to block the transition, however it failed. The EFF weighed in, too, commenting that in reality the changes are “unlikely to affect Internet users much one way or the other.”