The US Congressman Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) has sent a letter to ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade urging him to abandon plans to weaken the Internet for users in the United States and around the world
This is after listening to a December 21, 2015 interview with Fadi Chehade on National Public Radio. In the interview, entitled “U.S. Prepares To Relinquish Oversight Of Internet To International Body,” Duffy says he listened with great concern over Chehade’s dedication to weakening the Internet.
In 2015, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), along with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting an affirmative determination of whether the Obama Administration’s plan to transfer U.S. oversight of the Internet violates the Constitution.
Being an election year in the United States, internet governance and especially the IANA transition will be a major part of the discussions and debates.
Read the full text of Sean Duffy’ January 13th letter to ICANN below;
President and Chief Executive Officer
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers 12025 Waterfront Drive, Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA 90094-2536
I listened to your December 21, 2015 interview on National Public Radio with great concern over your dedication to weakening the Internet. The interview, entitled “U.S. Prepares
To Relinquish Oversight Of Internet To International Body,” aired just three days after Congress presented legislation to President Obama which expressly prohibits funds from being used by the U.S. Government to relinquishing its stewardship of the Internet, including its responsibility with respect to Internet domain name system functions and the authoritative root zone file and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority functions.
During your interview, you said that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is “on track” to deliver a “final proposal to the U.S. government in January of 2016” for the transfer to the international community of these fundamental responsibilities. Perhaps you were unaware of the funding limitation contained in government spending bills for the past two fiscal years and the widespread opposition in Congress to your efforts.
As Americans, we value our Constitutional right of Freedom of Speech and have promoted this value throughout the world. The U.S. is best positioned to maintain and protect a free and open Internet, through its stewardship of these critical functions, as it has done for decades. If the U.S. turns over this responsibility to the international community, there is no turning back.
Therefore I urge you to abandon your plans to weaken the Internet for users in the United States and around the world. The Commerce Department has no money to consider your proposal and I will continue to do everything in my power to ensure that it never does.
Signed Sean P Duffy
Member of Congress