[discuss] FW: [IP] GOP, Dems Clash Over Online Domain Name Oversight

michael gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Sun Apr 13 13:53:27 UTC 2014

Accepting for the moment the argument that the USG has been completely
benign and acting completely in support of the global public interest in its
stewardship of the Internet,  shouldn't someone somewhere be doing the deep
thinking involved in figuring out what to do if/when the USG/Congress says
to the world. "The Internet is ours, we paid for it, and you can't have it
or you can have it only on our terms. (or the diplomatic/technical
equivalent). and without of course, having any clear idea of what that does
(or could) mean.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dewayne Hendricks <dewayne at warpspeed.com>
Date: Sunday, April 13, 2014
Subject: [Dewayne-Net] GOP, Dems Clash Over Online Domain Name Oversight
To: Multiple recipients of Dewayne-Net <dewayne-net at warpspeed.com>

Apr 10 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican opposition to Obama administration plans to
spin off U.S. oversight of the Internet's domain name system is evolving
into an election-year political fight, with GOP lawmakers using it as the
latest front in their attacks on President Barack Obama's trustworthiness.

"We've seen enough out of this administration and its imperial presidency
politics that I'm not going to just give them a blank pen and then walk
away," Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., said Thursday as a House subcommittee he
chairs voted to impose a one-year delay in implementing any changes so
congressional investigators could study the issue.

The party-line 16-10 vote came as administration officials defended their
proposal at other congressional hearings. And Democratic lawmakers said
Republican warnings that the Internet could be turned over to hostile
governments were the stuff of fantasy.

"It's not a conspiracy or a digital black helicopter," Rep. Anna Eshoo,
D-Calif., said in a sarcastic reference to 1990s-era claims by some militias
and other right-wing groups about government surveillance aircraft. "It's a
plan, and I think it's time to move forward with it."

The back and forth comes during a campaign season in which Republicans have
vilified Obama as exceeding his powers by taking steps such as delaying
various deadlines set by his health care overhaul law, which they solidly

The latest dispute is over an administration announcement last month that it
wants to give up its oversight of the non-profit U.S. corporation that
manages the Internet's system of addresses, such as www.ap.org.

That entity - the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers - has
allocated domain names and the numerical addresses to which they are
attached since 1998. Ever since, ICANN's work has been overseen by the
Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information

"We are not giving up our leadership role," Lawrence Strickling, who heads
the NTIA, told members of the House Judiciary Committee. "We are stepping
out of clerical functions we currently perform."

Shedding oversight of how ICANN distributes addresses is a long-planned,
logical next step, administration officials say. They say the move would
still leave the U.S. with a voice on advisory committees and other entities
that make decisions about larger questions about Internet policies.

The Obama administration and ICANN say decisions about who would take the
current U.S. oversight role will be made by companies, engineers, nonprofit
groups, governments and other Internet users - the same way many decisions
about Internet policy are currently made.

"Everyone is at the table with equal voice," ICANN's president and CEO, Fadi
Chehade, told the Judiciary panel. "The model works, and it works very

Critics say there is no way to know what new entity would take the
administration's role, or what other changes might occur should the U.S.
lose leverage with the domain assigning corporation The U.S. government has
had a series of contracts with ICANN since 1998, with the current one
expiring in September 2015 - with two two-year renewals possible.


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