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“Protecting Internet Freedom Act” Introduced By Cruz

Posted on the 08 June 2016 by Worldwide @thedomains

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) introduced the Protecting Internet Freedom Act, which “would prevent the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) from allowing the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions contract to expire, unless specifically authorized by Congress.

The Protecting Internet Freedom Act would also ensure that the United States maintains sole ownership of the .gov and .mil top-level domains, which are vital to national security.

Sen. Ted Cruz is quoting as saying:

“The Obama administration is months away from deciding whether the United States Government will continue to provide oversight over core functions of the internet and protect it from authoritarian regimes that view the internet as a way to increase their influence and suppress freedom of speech.   This issue threatens not only our personal liberties, but also our national security. We must act affirmatively to protect the internet and the amazing engine for economic growth and opportunity the internet has become, and I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.”

Rep. Sean Duffy is quoted as saying:

“President Obama wants to hand over the keys to the internet to countries like China and Russia,, this is reckless and absurd. The governments of these countries do not value free speech. In fact, they censor the internet and routinely repress and punish political dissidents. They cannot be trusted with something as fundamental to free speech as a free and open internet. I will continue to fight President Obama’s irresponsible plan to surrender U.S. sovereignty of the internet to the world’s worst actors and to protect our Constitutional right to free speech.”

According to Heritage Action:

“U.S. oversight has maintained an open and free internet and there is no reason to doubt that  would continue if the current contract is extended to ensure that the new, substantially different ICANN will work as envisioned. Cruz’s legislation would provide an important Congressional check on the system to ensure that any transition is in the best interest of the U.S. and internet freedom more broadly.”

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform said:

“The power of the internet should be free, open, and available for all Americans and all the people of the world. It should not be taxed, over-regulated, policed and/or spied on by Washington bureaucrats or bureaucrats overseas. The Cruz-Duffy legislation raises important questions as to how we best protect the Internet which has delivered great progress, promises more and threatens powerful interests — both political and economic.  The internet is far too important to rush this transition. Unfortunately, the administration has viewed this transition as a cheap way to recover the global political credibility it lost because of the Snowden revelations and its own stubborn resistance to real surveillance reforms. They simply haven’t been willing to negotiate to protect ICANN’s multi-stakeholder model.

Congress has already told NTIA to cease further work, and been ignored. It’s time to mandate Congressional approval of the transition. This would not only ensure more meaningful transparency and accountability mechanisms, it could also address two potentially catastrophic legal issues: First, if a U.S. court finds that the IANA function constituted government property, it could unwind the deal. Second, without a contractual link to the U.S. government, ICANN may be vulnerable to antitrust suits”

Those supporting the Protecting Internet Freedom Act include: Heritage Action, Americans for Tax Reform, National Religious Broadcasters, American Center for Law and Justice, Center for Security Policy, Americans for Limited Government, TechFreedom, Tech Knowledge, Protect Internet Freedom, American Consumer Institute, Less Government, International Center for Law & Economics, the Center for Individual Freedom, Center for Freedom and Prosperity, American Commitment, Frontiers of Freedom and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste.

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