Legislation Would Require a GAO Study of the Administration’s Proposal Before Any Changes Are Made Regarding the Future of the Internet
The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, chaired by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) has scheduled a markup to consider H.R. 4342, the Domain Openness Through Continued Oversight Matters (DOTCOM) Act of 2014. The subcommittee will convene for opening statements only on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at 4:00 p.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The subcommittee will reconvene in the same room on Thursday, April 10, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. to vote.
Authored by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), the DOTCOM Act was drafted in response to the Obama administration’s proposal regarding the future of the Internet. The proposal instructs the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to explore ways to remove the United States from its oversight role of the Domain Name System (DNS) and replace it with a different multistakeholder governance model. H.R. 4342 would direct the Government Accountability Office to study the proposed changes and present a non-partisan evaluation before the administration may take action to modify the current DNS.
“Make no mistake, threats to the openness and freedom of the Internet are real, and there is no putting the genie back in the bottle once any kind of transition begins. So as part of our efforts to protect Internet freedom the subcommittee is going to vote this week on the DOTCOM Act,” said Walden. “We must do all we can to protect freedom of the Internet and ensure countries such as Russia and China, and others like Iran, keep their hands off of the Internet.”
An electronic copy of H.R. 4342 can be found on the Energy and Commerce Committee’s website here. A background memo, amendments, and votes will be available at the same link as they are posted.