The U.S. Commerce Department has renewed its contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a Los Angeles-based non-profit, upholding ICANN's authority to continue managing the Internet address system, also known as the domain name system, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
The new contract with ICANN runs through 2015 and has a two-year extension option. The renewal comes despite the fact that Commerce Department earlier this year canceled bids on the contract for control of the domain system, saying that none of the applicants, including ICANN, "met revised requirements including a strong conflict- of-interest policy and measures to increase transparency and accountability," as Bloomberg puts it.
It's unclear what ICANN did to change the Commerce Department's mind, but the move does come as ICANN proceeds with plans to expand the domain name system outside the familiar ".com," ".org" etc. to virtually anything. The renewal also comes ahead of the upcoming U.N. telecom summit in Dubai in December, which some U.S. lawmakers fear could be used as a stage to wrestle control and regulation from the Internet away from private groups like ICANN to greater nation state or U.N. control.