NTIA FOIA documents fail to show legal authority for Internet governance transfer

June 16, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement regarding the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s latest response to an Americans for Limited Government Freedom of Information Act request for “All records relating to legal and policy analysis developed by or provided to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) that support its decision to ‘transition key internet domain name functions,’ including any analysis showing whether the NTIA has the legal authority to perform the transition”:

“Americans for Limited Government asked the Commerce Department a simple question: What was the legal basis for relinquishing control of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority functions to ICANN? Now, more than a year later, it is clear based on the documents we have received that there was no such legal analysis performed prior to the announcement. Nor has the Department claimed any privileged exemption for such analysis under the Freedom of Information Act. And so, it is clear it doesn’t exist. What should have been a routine request has turned out to be a wild goose chase. The failure of NTIA to establish a firm legal basis for the IANA functions transfer underscores this administration’s complete disregard for congressional prerogatives to dispose of property under the Constitution.

“This failure by the Obama administration affirms Congress’ decision to defund the Internet transfer this fiscal year, and the House’s further action this month to do the same beyond September 30.”


Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request to National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), March 27, 2014 at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DOC-NTIA-FOIA-re-ICANN-03-27-14.pdf

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) interim response by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), June 30, 2014 at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/DOC-NTIA_FOIA-Responsive-Docs-Set1.pdf

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) further response by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, June 15, 2015 at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/DOC-NTIA_FOIA-Responsive-Docs-Set2.pdf

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