The U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced late Friday that it will end its formal relationship with The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) — the organization charged with managing domain names, assigning Internet protocol addresses and other crucial Web functions — after its current contract expires in 2015. ICANN has faced growing criticism in recent years about the influence of the U.S. government on its operations and now it appears that the U.S. government is going to be giving up control of the internet. The U.S. government is looking to move to a governance model that has broad community support and that is able to address the following four principles:

Many in the United States are concerned over the announcement and believe that it could endanger the security of both the Internet and the country in general. Others also believe that this could open the door to a global tax on Web use.

Christian Whiton, a former Bush administration State Department senior advisor, told The Daily Caller that America gets nothing in return and that this is like giving away the Panama Canal after spending all the money to build it.

"U.S. management of the internet has been exemplary and there is no reason to give this away — especially in return for nothing. This is the Obama equivalent of Carter’s decision to give away the Panama Canal — only with possibly much worse consequences." - Christian Whiton

Debate on the transition will begin during ICANN’s meeting in Singapore March 23 to 27th.