Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) have jointly introduced the Protecting Internet Freedom Act the legislation proposes that the Commerce Department would have to stay in control of the domain name system until Congress “expressly grants” it the authority to conduct the transition.
The Act would also ensure that the United States maintains sole ownership of the .gov and .mil top-level domains, which are vital to national security.
Sen. Ted Cruz is quoted as saying:
“The Obama administration is months away from deciding whether the United States Government will continue to provide oversight over core functions of the internet and protect it from authoritarian regimes that view the internet as a way to increase their influence and suppress freedom of speech. This issue threatens not only our personal liberties, but also our national security. We must act affirmatively to protect the internet and the amazing engine for economic growth and opportunity the internet has become, and I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.”
On his comments, Rep. Sean Duffy is quoted saying:
“President Obama wants to hand over the keys to the internet to countries like China and Russia,, this is reckless and absurd. The governments of these countries do not value free speech. In fact, they censor the internet and routinely repress and punish political dissidents. They cannot be trusted with something as fundamental to free speech as a free and open internet. I will continue to fight President Obama’s irresponsible plan to surrender U.S. sovereignty of the internet to the world’s worst actors and to protect our Constitutional right to free speech.”
According to Heritage Action, “U.S. oversight has maintained an open and free internet and there is no reason to doubt that would continue if the current contract is extended to ensure that the new, substantially different ICANN will work as envisioned. Cruz’s legislation would provide an important Congressional check on the system to ensure that any transition is in the best interest of the U.S. and internet freedom more broadly.”
The press release is linked here: https://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=2669