SIIA Urges Swift Adoption of Senate Resolution on ICANN Accountability

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SIIA applauds Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) and Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) for their resolution calling for the designation of the week of February 8 as “Internet Governance Awareness Week.”  By passing this measure, the Senate would continue its oversight of the Administration’s proposed transfer of control over key Internet mechanisms maintained by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

The resolution calls attention to “the importance of designing accountability and governance reforms to best prepare ICANN for executing the responsibilities that it may receive under any transition of the stewardship of the functions of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority.”  The resolution puts the international community on notice that the U.S. is united on getting any transition right rather than doing it quickly.

A responsible transition might well prove to be in the U.S. long-term interest in keeping the Internet free, but the resolution makes it clear that Congress will hold the Administration to its promise that no transfer of ICANN authority to a proposed new governance structure will occur if it interferes with the exercise of free expression or the free flow of information or replaces the U.S. role with a government-led or an inter-governmental organization solution.

SIIA urges swift adoption of this resolution by the U.S. Senate in time to send a strong message to the ICANN meeting in Singapore next week.

David David LeDuc is Senior Director, Public Policy at SIIA. He focuses on e-commerce, privacy, cyber security, cloud computing, open standards, e-government and information policy. Follow the SIIA public policy team on Twitter at @SIIAPolicy.