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February 11, 2016

Vint Cerf Says NTIA Domain Name Plan Would Help Keep Internet Free


A video from Vint Cerf, Google’s chief Internet evangelist, seems to be defending the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s proposal to step back from its role in certain functions of the Internet domain name system. The video has been making the rounds on tech blogs.

“There’s been some confusion about the United States’ role in creating ICANN,” Cerf says in the animated (literally) video, where he gives an brief history of governance over Internet protocol addresses and domain names. In addition to working at Google, Cerf is widely regarded as “father of the Internet.”

“The U.S. government is completing its long-standing commitment to place control of the domain name and Internet address structure into the hands of an  international multistakeholder community,” he later says, echoing an argument that has been made by proponents of the move. “To sum it all up, the purity of your Internet experience will stay the same.  The only thing that’s changing is that we’re achieving an even more democratic framework so the Internet can remain free and open.”

Earlier this week, NTIA’s Lawrence E. Strickling gave a speech at the American Enterprise Institute where he defended the move, which has seen scrutiny from Republican lawmakers.

“Our announcement created a lot of discussion and little bit of controversy,” Strickling said at the event.  “But overall the international community has  applauded the move, as it demonstrates in a concrete way, the commitment of United States to the multistakeholder model of Internet governance.”

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