House, Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees urge Obama to reconsider Internet giveaway

Sept. 8, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today praised Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and House Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton for a letter sent to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker urging the Obama administration to reconsider transitioning the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) at the end of the month:

“The actions today by Chairmen Thune, Grassley, Upton and Goodlatte are a momentous turning point in the fight to preserve the free and open Internet. Given the outstanding legal questions to do with the Internet giveaway, including the future status of ICANN’s antitrust immunity and whether NTIA even has the authority to pursue the transfer, the Obama administration has but one option, and that is to extend the contract with ICANN another two years. We praise the House and Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees for their diligent work on these issues, and they deserve the thanks of each and every American who uses the Internet to obtain news and information.

“However, absent Congressional action before the current contract with ICANN expires at the end of the month, NTIA will surely complete the transition of the IANA functions managing the Internet’s domain name system, and today’s announcement will be rendered meaningless. Congress must not only defund the transition, as it has the past two fiscal years, but also affirmatively require NTIA to extend the contract with ICANN at least another two years and include provision for Congress to immediately sue in federal court to prevent the Obama administration from proceeding with the transfer in defiance of the law.”

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