Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued the following statement upon House passage of the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Act (H.R. 2578), which includes a prohibition on funds to transition oversight over the Internet’s domain name system away from the Department of Commerce.
“The Obama Administration’s proposal to transition stewardship in overseeing the management of the Internet away from the U.S. and to an international body has kicked off high-profile debates involving many far-reaching questions that relate to the future security, stability, resiliency and integrity of the global Internet’s continued operation.
“While the proposed transition has raised numerous questions, the Administration has been less than forthcoming with answers. The Obama Administration maintains that the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is capable of such a transition but the evidence indicates that this is simply not the case.
“As the House Judiciary Committee’s recent hearing further demonstrated, ICANN must have accountability and transparency measures in place before such a transition could occur and they simply are not there now.
“Given all the concerns over the proposed transition of the Internet domain name system to ICANN, the funding prohibition included in the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill is necessary to halt this flawed policy from the Obama Administration.”
Background: The House Judiciary Committee’s Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Subcommittee recently held an oversight hearing in order to hear directly from a wide range of stakeholders on the status and impact of the proposed transition as well as other important issues that relate to whether ICANN is trustworthy, accountable and transparent.