Senate GOP to vote in favor of giving away Internet governance

Feb. 5, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging Senate members to reject a resolution offered by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), that supports the Commerce Department relinquishing control over Internet governance to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) later this year:

“The Senate should reject any resolution that accepts the premise that the Internet should be given away to ICANN and global multistakeholders. Congress just voted for, and the President signed into law, a provision that prohibits the Commerce Department from relinquishing oversight of Internet governance this fiscal year. The Washington Post in a January 4 editorial agrees with our position that the U.S. government should keep control in order to protect Internet freedom.

“Yet, Hatch and Blunt, who voted in favor of the prohibition, now see fit to offer a resolution that supports the giveaway to foreign interests — sacrificing the First Amendment protections that U.S. government oversight affords for the free and open Internet. Hatch and Blunt would not even acknowledge the clear Congressional prohibition against the giveaway, and in doing so, are actively undermining the constitutional separation of powers, in supporting the transfer of government property without any clear Congressional authority to do so.

“The Hatch-Blunt resolution intends to raise public awareness of the Internet giveaway, and yet ignores the key controversy surrounding it, which is that the administration cannot perform the transfer without clear Congressional authority. The free and open Internet is too important to hand off to an unaccountable private foundation just to create a global monopoly on the domain name system and the assignment of IP addresses. We oppose this resolution in the strongest possible terms.”

Attachments:

“Protect the Internet: Keep the contract with ICANN,” Washington Post editorial, Jan. 4, 2015 at http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/protect-the-internet-keep-the-contract-with-icann/2015/01/04/b1ff61c2-7bff-11e4-9a27-6fdbc612bff8_story.html

“Congress Will Oversight ICANN: And You Can Take That to the Bank,” By Sophia Bekele, CircleID, Jan. 5, 2015 at http://www.circleid.com/posts/20150105_congress_will_oversight_icann_and_you_can_take_that_to_the_bank/

“AmericanExceptionalism.com,” By L. Gordon Crovitz, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 1, 2015, at http://www.wsj.com/articles/l-gordon-crovitz-americanexceptionalism-com-1422832103

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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