GAC, Net Freedom, Unaccountable ICANN Board: Focus of Cruz, Lankford & Lee’s Letter to NTIA, Pritzker

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) ** FILE **
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) ** FILE **

The latest letter of May 19th by U.S. Senators Cruz, Lankford & Lee’s to the U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and NTIA’s Larry Strickling has raised sustained concerns by the US government legislator on several issues of magnitude.

The letter touches fears that the transition will be an entry to endangerment of internet freedom; power of foreign governments over the internet under the proposal; opening the door to regulation of internet content; transfer of U.S. government property issues  ICANN’s U.S. jurisdiction be subject to change after the IANA transition and also the strange familiar light on  an unaccountable ICANN Board of Directors.

The letter says that

“The proposal will significantly increase the power of foreign governments over the Internet, expand ICANN’s historical core mission by creating a gateway to content regulation, and embolden [its] leadership to act without any real accountability,”

Immediate former ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade’s activities have been mentioned adversely in the letter, chiefly on his failure to respond to specific questions about his involvement with the Chinese government’s World Internet Conference;

The Senators also comment on ICANN’s Beijing hub saying that “We have uncovered that ICANN’s Beijing office is actually located within the same building as the Cyberspace Administration of China, which is the central agency within the Chinese government’s censorship regime,”

The fate of several domains that belong to the US government were subject of concern, these include the future of .mil and .gov TLDs, ICANN’s antitrust status, ICANN’s potential to “impose global taxes” without U.S. government oversight;. The letter concludes “In light of all these concerns and the magnitude of the potential consequences, we respectfully request that you extend NTIA’s IANA functions contract with ICANN.”

Read the rest of the letter embedded here

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