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US lawmakers make last-ditch bid to block internet governance transfer

John Ribeiro | Sept. 13, 2016
The current U.S. contract with ICANN is set to expire by the end of this month

“Congress should stand united to rein in this president, to protect the constitutional authority expressly given to Congress to control disposition of property of the United States,” Cruz said indicating another prong of attack by the Republican legislators on the transition issue.

NTIA said recently that it and ICANN have formally affirmed that the U.S. government is the administrator of .mil and .gov and any changes made to the top-level domains can only be made with the express written approval of the U.S.

Congress has not received assurances from the Obama administration that the U.S. government will continue to have exclusive ownership and control of the .gov and .mil top-level domains in perpetuity, which are vital to national security, and are used by key U.S. agencies including defense, Cruz said.

The government appears to have kept its options open with a lot being read into a letter of Aug. 31 to ICANN from the Department of Commerce in which it states that it is serving preliminary notice of its option to extend the contract with the internet body.

An extension of the contract requires a written notice to ICANN within 15 calendar days before the expiry date of the contract, if the preliminary notice was served 30 days ahead of the date of termination. ICANN has said the letter indicates that it is still NTIA’s intent to continue with the transfer on Oct. 1, barring a significant impediment such as a legal or legislative obstacle.

 

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