Call your senators 202-224-3121
Tell them to pass S.3034
Here’s what happened:
Congress ordered a federal agency (NTIA) to not let a government contract lapse– especially one that includes the IANA function (comparable to an “Internet phone book”), which has been managed by a non-profit organization in California since 1998.
The agency chose not to comply with a Congress mandate. Meaning, a federal agency run by unelected bureaucrats ignored elected members of Congress, which is illegal. And Obama is doing nothing about it.
Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA (National Telecommunications & Information Administration) Administrator, Lawrence E. Strickling, confirmed that “the NTIA intends to allow the IANA functions contract to expire as of October 1.”
Because the agency did not comply with Congress, and failed to renew its contract before the end of this month, the government will be illegally allowing the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to take over management of the IANA function.
(ICANN is “the private (non-government) non-profit corporation with responsibility for IP address space
allocation, protocol parameter assignment
, domain name system management, and root server system management functions, the services previously performed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority
The Commerce Department does not have the authority to “turn over control of the Internet to ICANN.” It’s against federal law.
The Washington Examiner reports that:
“the feds are constitutionally prohibited from transferring federal property without approval from Congress. A coalition of 25 advocacy groups like Americans for Tax Reform, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Heritage Action sent a letter to Congress making those points last week.”
In response, the coalition of 25 advocacy groups maintain:
“Congress twice enacted appropriations riders prohibiting any use of taxpayer funds ‘to relinquish the responsibility of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration [NTIA] … with respect to Internet domain name system functions, including responsibility with respect to the authoritative root zone file and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority [IANA] functions.’
“We agree that Internet governance should work from the bottom up, driven by the global comm- unity of private sector, civil society and technical stakeholders. But that “multi-stakeholder” model is fragile. Without robust safeguards, Internet governance could fall under the sway of governments hostile to freedoms protected by the First Amendment.
“If NTIA allows the contract to lapse, it will have violated federal law (31 USC § 1341(a)(1)(A). See also 31 U.S.C § 1350).”
Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) – R introduced S.3034 on June 8, 2016. The bill has been read twice and was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, which is ridiculous. It’s now the first week in September and the Senate still has not acted.
If the Senate does not act they will be allowing a government agency to again break federal law and the very system the U.S. government created.
This will end the U.S. government’s “historic role as a guarantor of Internet governance,” and eliminate any constitutional protections of free speech and freedom of the press.