The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced yesterday that the IANA transition proposal developed by the global Internet multistakeholder community meets the criteria NTIA outlined in March 2014 when it stated its intent to transition the U.S. Government’s stewardship role for the Internet domain name system (DNS) technical functions, known as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions.
The announcement marks an important milestone in the U.S. Government’s effort to complete the transition of the Internet’s domain name system and ensure that the Internet remains a platform for innovation, economic growth, and free speech.
However, swiftly following the announcement, the U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) today issued a joint statement following the Obama administration’s announcement that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN) proposal to end U.S. oversight of the Internet is satisfactory. The members of Congress maintain that the Obama administration has violated federal law by undertaking preparations to give the Internet away to foreign governments.
“Today’s announcement by the Obama administration is a clear indication that it has flagrantly violated federal law,” Cruz, Lankford, Lee and Duffy said. “This is the latest step in a troubling series of steps that the administration has taken to relinquish its responsibilities, and it should send a concerning message to every American. If the United States relinquishes its supervision of the Internet—which it has nurtured from inception to become the greatest source of information in human history—authoritarian regimes could try to undermine the new system of Internet governance and thereby threaten free speech around the world. Congress must enact the Protecting Internet Freedom Act and continue to fight for a free Internet.”
Speaking about the announcement, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling said
“The Internet’s multistakeholder community has risen to the challenge we gave them to develop a transition proposal that would ensure the Internet’s domain name system will continue to operate as seamlessly as it currently does,” He added “The plan developed by the community will strengthen the multistakeholder approach that has helped the Internet to grow and thrive, while maintaining the stability, security, and openness that users across the globe depend on today.”
NTIA said the transition proposal must have broad community backing and:
- Support and enhance the multistakeholder model;
- Maintain the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet DNS;
- Meet the needs and expectations of the global customers and partners of the IANA services; and
- Maintain the openness of the Internet.
It is now upto the congress to ratify or reject the proposal, the IANA functions contract between NTIA and ICANN will expire September 30, 2016 unless extended.