Shimkus: “The DOTCOM Act is our best way forward.”
WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), today approved H.R. 805, the Domain Openness Through Continued Oversight Matters (DOTCOM) Act, bipartisan legislation to protect the future of the Internet. Authored by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), the DOTCOM Act ensures that Congress continues its oversight role over the administration’s work to transition its Domain Name System authority from the United States to the global Internet community.
Last year, the administration asked the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to convene a multistakeholder group to explore ways to transition oversight of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to the Internet community. Currently, the United States oversees the Domain Name System as part of a contract with IANA.
“The DOTCOM Act serves as an essential check within our government. The Internet has come a long way from its days as a government research network and the concrete steps toward privatization have made it stronger. As we look toward taking another step in that process – removing the U.S. government from its oversight of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority – we must look before we leap,” added Chairman Upton.
Full committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) added, “The DOTCOM Act continues the long-standing congressional support for the global, open Internet while appropriately conducting oversight of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. I believe our bill provides the necessary safeguards for the timely transition of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority or IANA.”
“The DOTCOM Act is our best way forward to ensure Congress can exercise a meaningful and appropriate oversight role in the IANA stewardship transition,” said Shimkus. “This is an important moment for the Internet but there’s no moving back into mom and dad’s basement if it doesn’t work out. We only have one chance to get this right.”
The legislation was approved by voice vote, as was an amendment addressing a word change. Text of the legislation, the amendment, and video of the markup are available here.