It is something few of us have heard about or pay attention to but if you want a web address on the internet you turn to ICANN.
It stands for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and it is the organization that decides on the names and addresses on the web. They act like the white and yellow pages providers to the web. ICANN was set up in the United States and it helps route traffic and approve names but that's about to change.
President Obama recently announced that instead of having the Commerce Department and ICANN run this from the US, that the US will turn it over to a new organization.
Cyber Expert Theresa Payton shares her thoughts below:
1. ICANN receives input today from other countries and from individuals
2. All roads lead to ICANN - you cannot route traffic or get a new domain name without it
3. ICANN has done a good job of not censoring the internet and leaving the details of what's appropriate or not appropriate to ISPs, content filters, etc.
4. This is a historic move - it's never been done before. Since the early days of the internet, ICANN has managed the naming and traffic conventions - we don't know how that will work going forward
5. Concern: The effectiveness of traffic routes and the speedy responses we are used to today could change under a new body
6. The target date for the change is September 2015 so get any new domain name ideas registered now