(Reuters) – A long-planned transfer of the internet’s technical management from the U.S. government to a global community of stakeholders is expected to take place on Saturday despite last-minute attempts by conservative politicians and officials to delay the changeover.
The U.S. Department of Commerce is due to cede stewardship of ICANN, or the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, as scheduled after a lawsuit seeking to halt the transition was denied by a federal judge in Texas on Friday.
The U.S. government has been the primary manager of the internet’s address book since 1988 largely because it was invented in the country. Critics of the handover have attempted to block or delay it on grounds it could jeopardize free speech online, claims that the Obama administration and technology companies have said lack merit.
The lawsuit filed on Wednesday against the federal government by the Republican states of Arizona, Texas, Nevada and Oklahoma argued the handover was unconstitutional and required congressional approval.
ICANN, a California-based nonprofit, manages the database for top-level domain names such as .com and .net and their corresponding numeric addresses that allow computers to connect.
Read More – Fortune