The U.S. government announced Friday that it is relinquishing its hold on a key Internet oversight role.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the Commerce Department announced the decision to transition out of managing domain names and addresses for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The move is planned for September 2015, when the current contract runs out, the Journal added.
According to the Journal, the move is considered a response to international backlash that the U.S. faced as a result of the National Security Agency spying scandal. The Washington Post adds that the move is likely to please those critics, but business leaders could be concerned.
Back in January, ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé warned HuffPost Live that the "biggest threat" to innovation on the Internet is a fragmented web.
"If we cannot find a way to govern the Internet in an equal footing, in an open transparent way this year, we might descend into a fragmented version of the Internet," Chehadé said. "The moment we fragment the Internet it is possible there will be tariffs between borders, there will be rules... it will not be the internet as we know it."