Committee Continues Oversight of Administration Proposal Regarding Future of the Internet

April 4, 2014

The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, chaired by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), on Tuesday held a hearing focused on the Obama administration’s recent proposal on the future of the Internet. The administration is looking to the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to explore ways to remove the United States from its oversight role of the Domain Name System and replace it with a different multistakeholder governance model. Both Republicans and Democrats are concerned about any change that could leave the Internet vulnerable to power grabs from international governments. Congress is seeking commitments that the administration would not permit any outcome that fails to protect the ideals of Internet freedom and openness.

April 3, 2014

April 2, 2014

House Republicans Question U.S. Plan to Give Up Internet Control
Republican lawmakers questioned the Obama administration’s plan to give up control of the system for assigning website addresses.

“What assurances do Internet users have that such a change will not lead to foreign government mischief?” said Greg Walden, chairman of the House telecommunications subcommittee. “I remain concerned,” he said. Walden said the administration of President Barack Obama should await a study by Congress before acting.

Today’s hearing examined the plan announced March 14 by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, an arm of the Commerce Department. The agency has asked the non-profit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to guide discussions for a transition from the current arrangement. …

Read the full article online HERE

April 2, 2014

Republicans Fear Obama Will Let Russia Seize Internet Power

An Obama administration plan to give up oversight of certain technical Internet functions could open the door to a takeover by authoritarian regimes, Republican lawmakers claimed Wednesday.

If Russia or China gain new influence over the management of the Internet, they could begin censoring content or blocking websites, the Republicans warned.

"Make no mistake: Threats to the openness and freedom of the Internet are real," said Republican Rep. Greg Walden, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee, which held a hearing on the issue Wednesday. "Leaders such as Vladimir Putin have explicitly announced their desire to gain control of the Internet."

Walden and other Republicans are pushing a bill that would block the transfer of authority until the Government Accountability Office can study the issue. …

Read the full article online HERE.

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