Sept. 28, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to a growing consensus among Republican presidential candidates, including Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz, against transitioning Department of Commerce oversight of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN):
“When candidates as far apart on the conservative spectrum like Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush agree that U.S. oversight of the world’s Internet domain name system should be safeguarded, Congress needs to pay attention. The First Amendment freedoms of every person who uses the Internet is at stake once the U.S. government contract with ICANN expires. Although NTIA has extended that contract for up to a year, the agency is not legally bound to keep that timetable — that is unless Congress says so by defunding the transition for the entirety of Fiscal Year 2016.
“The concerns of presidential candidates become all the more important as key congressional leaders openly question the constitutionality of the transition without an affirmative Article IV vote of Congress to transfer government property.
“The only rational course is to extend the Internet giveaway defund for at least another year, because the protection of every American’s free speech rights on the Internet is simply too important.”
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