In a last ditch effort to prevent the IANA transition, the GOP has included in its Republican Platform for 2016 [PDF] which was formally approved during the party’s national convention in Cleveland a policy position on “Protecting Internet Freedom.”
The position affirms the effort to stop the oversight handover to a new body, it reads: “We will therefore resist any effort to shift control toward governance by international or other intergovernmental organizations.”
This comes just after Sen Cruz said that the Obama administration’s decision to give up U.S. control of regulating the internet is likely illegal, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said.
“The Obama administration does not have the authorization from Congress,” Cruz said Thursday, speaking at a Heritage Foundation event on internet freedom. “And yet they are endeavoring to give away this valuable, critical property. To give it away with no authorization at all. That ought to trouble all of us.”
In June, Cruz introduced a bill that would keep the U.S. Commerce Department in an oversight role of the body that assigns internet names and addresses. That body, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, is a nonprofit organization that gives out domain names and numbers for the internet.
The policy position in the 66 page Republican Platform for 2016 [PDF] on “Protecting Internet Freedom.”reads
The survival of the internet as we know it is at risk. Its gravest peril originates in the White House, the current occupant of which has launched a campaign, both at home and internationally, to subjugate it to agents of government. The President ordered the chair of the supposedly independent Federal Communications Commission to impose upon the internet rules devised in the 1930s for the telephone monopoly. He has unilaterally announced America’s abandonment of the international internet by surrendering U.S. control of the root zone of web names and addresses. He threw the internet to the wolves, and they — Russia, China, Iran, and others — are ready to devour it.
We salute the Congressional Republicans who have legislatively impeded his plans to turn over the Information Freedom Highway to regulators and tyrants. That fight must continue, for its outcome is in doubt. We will consistently support internet policies that allow people and private enterprise to thrive, without providing new and expanded government powers to tax and regulate so that the internet does not become the vehicle for a dramatic expansion of government power. The internet’s independence is its power. It has unleashed innovation, enabled growth, and inspired freedom more rapidly and extensively than any other technological advance in human history. We will therefore resist any effort to shift control toward governance by international or other intergovernmental organizations. We will ensure that personal data receives full constitutional protection from government overreach. The only way to safeguard or improve these systems is through the private sector. The internet’s free market needs to be free and open to all ideas and competition without the government or service providers picking winners and losers.
Read the Republican Platform for 2016 [PDF] on theRegister