Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, back from the campaign trail, have something productive to do in Washington. They’ve taken the lead against President Obama’s plan to give up U.S. protection of the open Internet.
The Obama administration announced in 2014 it would end U.S. oversight by canceling the Commerce Department’s long-standing contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or Icann. Despite enormous effort over the past two years by the multi-stakeholder community of network engineers and developers, no one found an alternative to U.S. stewardship that would protect the global Internet from censorship by authoritarian regimes.
The Obama administration pledged that it wouldn’t let other governments get more power, but the plan it is considering would do just that. Governments for the first time would get a say in Icann board membership. It would take a majority of the Icann board to reject advice from governments, and stakeholders would have no legal standing to intervene.
Last week the House passed its third straight annual appropriations bill banning the Obama administration from ending the Icann contract. That would continue U.S. oversight into fiscal 2017, so the next president could decide to retain U.S. protection.Read the rest of this WSJ op-ed HERE.
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