WASHINGTON, DC – The Communications and Technology Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), today held a hearing examining the recent proposal from the multi-stakeholder community to transition stewardship of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to the Internet community.
In 2014 the National Telecommunication’s Information Administration (NTIA) announced they would work to transition stewardship of IANA to the multi-stakeholder community. Through continued committee oversight of NTIA’s proposal and thoughtful examination, it became clear that the United States, and the multi-stakeholder community, must maintain ongoing oversight and accountability of ICANN – who has been tasked with spearheading the transition.
As Chairman Walden stated, “I’ve referenced the importance of the Affirmations of Commitments, especially the requirements that ICANN remain headquartered in the United States and the multi-stakeholder community conduct ongoing review of ICANN’s operations.”
Steve DelBianco, Executive Director at NetChoice, echoed Walden’s sentiment, saying, “Before the U.S. government lets go of the oversight leverage inherent in the IANA contract, it must ensure that ICANN accepts and implements the proposals needed to keep the ICANN corporation accountable to the global multi-stakeholder community that ICANN was created to serve.”
The Honorable David A. Gross, Former U.S. Coordinator, International Communications and Informational Policy, Partner Wiley Rein LLP, added, “Looking ahead, it will be important for all stakeholders to stay engaged, especially in the near term as the finalization of revisions to ICANN’s bylaws continues. … Ongoing engagement by U.S. businesses and the U.S. government with ICANN, especially as it matures into “adulthood,” is essential and evidences the significant value of the Internet and seamless flow of information to the United States and the global economy.”
Chairman Walden concluded, “Last week marked a major milestone in the IANA transition process. However, it’s important to stress the important role Congress plays during this process. The bipartisan work reflected in the DOTCOM Act maintains our oversight authority to ensure the requirements of a transition established by NTIA are met by the proposal. It is critical to the future of the Internet that we ensure a transition will meet our nation’s – and the world’s – needs. The stakes are simply too high.”