The U.S. government has played a central — perhaps critical — role in the development of the Internet. Currently the U.S. retains a stewardship position in the worldwide operation of the Internet through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, an agency within the Commerce Department. That stewardship is slated to end, however, with NTIA proposing to relinquish its presence in the operation of the Internet to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, a multistakeholder group of network players.
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