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The US is done overseeing the internet's naming system... will it affect you?

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The US is done overseeing the internet's naming system... will it affect you?

WATCH: How the U.S. giving up oversight of the internet's naming system will affect you. 

On October 1, the U.S. will no longer oversee the non-profit that makes sure when you go to Circa.com or any other website, it comes up in your internet browser.


Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, is a California nonprofit organization responsible for keeping the Internet "safe, secure and interoperable."

For nearly 20 years, the Department of Commerce has controlled ICANN, the group responsible with assigning global IP addresses and overseeing the internet domain name system. 

Despite the U.S.'s oversight of ICANN, the domain naming system has largely operated autonomously and rarely intervened in its operation.  

(It did try to intervene when ICANN wanted to launch a new domain for pornography, ".xxx", which eventually went ahead anyway.)

In 2014, but it was agreed that the U.S. was ready to make ICANN private and hand over the keys of the kingdom.

On Oct. 1, the 3 billion internet users won't see much of a change.

Circa.com will still be a place where you read your favorite stories; Facebook will still be a place where you can stalk your friends, or do some research on your next Tinder date.

U.S. government oversight was always meant to be temporary, but worries still abound.

Some say the government absence could spell the end of the current era of free speech on the internet, as well as free enterprise, and would open the way for countries like Russia and China to control and censor the web.

Others worry that removing the U.S.'s oversight role could remove ICANN's anti-trust protections.


Yet, there are controls in the place to retain the group's autonomy.  

ICANN's board, which has global representation, is structured in such a way that prevents any country or group of countries from taking control --and proponents say it reflects the diversity of today's internet community.

In addition, many internet companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft support its privatization model.

It's not a 100 percent guarantee that things won't change.  

But at the end of the day, we won't likely see any October surprise at Circa.com or elsewhere.

The Obama Administration says that the transition will have no practical effects on the internet's functioning or its users

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