Tuesday, May 19, 2015

GOP Wants Review of Internet Governance Handover

The Obama administration’s plan to relinquish U.S. control of the Internet’s architecture to a group of international stakeholders isn’t going over well on Capitol Hill.
Republicans want to review any handover agreement, while members of both parties are saying the California nonprofit that manages the Internet’s addressing system needs to do a better job protecting American copyrights before President Barack Obama turns over control.
“Who’s going to be there when something goes wrong?” asked Rep. Joe L. Barton, a Texas Republican, at a House Energy and Commerce hearing last week. “I’ve yet to hear this vaunted multi-stakeholder process come up with an enforcement mechanism.”
In March 2014, the Commerce Department, which manages the contract with the California group, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, said it would surrender the contract to a group of corporate executives, nonprofit Internet experts and government officials. The handover would occur in September 2015, when the current contract runs out.
Before that happens, though, the stakeholder group that would assume the contract needs to develop a transition plan and no one thinks it will be ready in time.
The fallback plan is for the Commerce Department to extend the contract until the transition plan is ready.
Republicans last week made clear they want to have a look at it before any handover. The House’s Commerce Department appropriation bill, for the second year in a row, includes a provision that would bar the department from spending any funds on the transition.
“We’ve said time and again that this is far too important to rush, and that we must carefully consider all of the consequences and outcomes before we ring a bell that cannot be unrung,” said Rep. Greg Walden, an Oregon Republican and chairman of the Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology panel.
Via: Roll Call

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