A House committee voted along party lines Thursday to delay the Obama administration’s plan to give up authority over the Internet’s address system.
The bill, the DOTCOM Act, now heads to the full House for consideration.
Republicans fear the administration’s plan could allow Russia, China, or other authoritarian regimes to seize new powers over the Internet and even censor websites.
Their legislation would require that the Government Accountability Office study the issue before the Commerce Department could give up its contractual authority over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers — the nonprofit group that manages the technical procedures that allow computers around the world to connect to websites. The transfer of authority over ICANN to the “global Internet community” is scheduled to take place next year.
Rep. Greg Walden, an Oregon Republican, said the transition is “extremely important to the future of the Internet.”
“What we’re saying is can we just stop a minute and get GAO to take a look?”
He argued that once the U.S. gives up its role in Internet management, it will be impossible to ever get it back.
But Democrats argue the plan is just the latest step in the U.S. government’s longtime support of the “multi-stakeholder” model of Internet governance, in which decisions are made by an array of nonprofits, companies, academics, and engineers.
“I don’t know where these suspicions have come from that there’s some black helicopter something or other in this,” said Rep. Anna Eshoo, a California Democrat.
The Democrats argued that the bill would undermine U.S. efforts to promote Internet freedoms around the world by making it appear that the U.S. wants to have control over the Internet.
The Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee defeated a Democratic amendment that would have still called for a GAO study without stalling the Internet power transfer.
The Obama administration announced its formal opposition to the DOTCOM Act earlier this week, and its chances in the Senate appear slim.
What We're Following See More »
Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”
Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.
Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.
Donald Trump's Fox News brain trust keeps growing. After it was revealed that former Fox chief Roger Ailes is informally advising Trump on debate preparation, host Sean Hannity admitted over the weekend that he's also advising Trump on "strategy and messaging." He told the New York Times: “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. I never claimed to be a journalist.”