As reported in many places, US govt is not handing over the “control of the internet” to ICANN, because the US never “had the internet” to begin with.
The US, like many people and governments, had control over bits and pieces of internet infrastructure, one of which is the DNS -Domain Name System. DNS translates the web addresses you type into your browser, like “nextbigwhat.com,” into numerics (IP addresses) that computers use to communicate with. So, thanks to DNS we don’t have to remember a string of numbers for every website, we want to visit.
ICANN, which stands for (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) oversees DNS i.e. the process of assigning domain names and the underlying IP addresses to run the internet. But since its founding in 1998, the non-profit organisation was under a contract with the US govt which gave the country the authority to regulate the Internet. On Saturday, October 1st, 2016, that contract came to an end, making ICANN an autonomous body, accountable to an international community of businesses, telecommunications experts, civil society and multiple governments, instead of just one country.
The change will, however, have no effect on how we use the Internet, and ICANN will continue to do what it has been doing since its inception.