The US government has announced that it no longer wants to be in charge of running and overseeing the internet.

It's turned to Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, to help it cede control to a separate body, according to the BBC.

The government created ICANN in 1998 to help oversee the internet's addressing system, and now it wants the organization to do so with no government oversight at all.

It hopes to shift control of the internet to a third party made up of private company and government representatives, and it wants to do it soon.

Miles to go

ICANN's contract with the government expires in 2015, and the hope is to have a body in place to take over the internet by then.

The Internet Corporation has already sent out invitations to companies, governments, civil rights groups, and web organizations globally to take part in the discussions and planning.

ICANN's board chairman Dr. Steven Crocker said both ICANN and the government have been looking forward to this day all along.

"We have all long known the destination," he said in a statement. "Now it is up to our global stakeholder community to determine the best route to get us there."

US Assistant Secretary of Commerce Lawrence Strickling said in a statement that the handover must "support and enhance the multistakeholder model" and maintain the internet's openness.

And European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes, who previously called for US stewardship of the internet to end, has released another statement asserting that "the next two years will be critical in redrawing the map of internet governance."