As a result, a number of internet service providers (ISPs) sprang up in the private sector. They created their own small and local networks of subscribers and linked them with the internet. In this manner the coverage of internet went on expanding till it became worldwide network. The last vestige of US Government’s ownership over internet was severed during Bill Clinton’s presidency in 1998 when the internet’s domain name system which authenticates electronic addresses of the internet users, was transferred to private companies.
Although internet is no longer owned by the American Government, it is still in the position to exercise some indirect control over it. Hence, in a way, it will not be entirely correct to say that internet is completely independent of the US Government. Now the authority for authentication of domain names or online addresses of internet users vests with Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers / ICANN which has its headquarters in California State of the USA. Suffixes following the names in the domain names such as .com, .org, .edu etc also must have prior approval of this agency. Since this corporation is under control of US Department of Commerce, the control in respect of domain names is ultimately in the hands of the government. Therefore, in the ultimate analysis, the US Government has the casting vote on who is to be admitted to the internet (or not). As this situation is not acceptable to some countries, they would like to have ICANN under international control.