The debates on internet governance have highlighted conflicting statements and visions on how the internet's domain name system (DNS) root server system should be managed.
From ICANN's statement on What is ICANN?
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is an internationally organized, non-profit corporation that has responsibility for .... root server system management functions.
From the Root Server FAQ by Daniel Karrenberg
ICANN does not control root name server operations?
A: No. Neither the IANA nor ICANN have any executive authority over the operation of root name servers. The establishment of such authority has been on ICANN's agenda from the start. It is mentioned in various guises in the MoU between ICANN and the US DoC. However none of this has ever been implemented. I do not believe ICANN, or anyone, should have control over the operation of all root name servers. So this goal should be removed from ICANN's agenda.
From the Working Group on Internet Governance
WGIG identified and included in the Background Report the public policy issues that are relevant to Internet governance. The issues of highest priority, including related issues and problems, are set out below for the attention of the WSIS...
Administration of the root zone files and system
Lack of formal relationship with root server operators
- The root zone operators perform their functions today without a formal relationship with any authority.
From the U.S. Principles on the Internetís Domain Name and Addressing System
As such, the United States is committed to taking no action that would have the potential to adversely impact the effective and efficient operation of the DNS and will therefore maintain its historic role in authorizing changes or modifications to the authoritative root zone file.