The following can be attributed to Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, regarding the United States’ oversight role for Internet domain names:
“The power of the Internet should be free, open, and available for all Americans and all the people of the world. It should not be taxed, over-regulated, policed and/or spied on by Washington bureaucrats or bureaucrats overseas.
“The Cruz-Duffy legislation raises important questions as to how we best protect the Internet which has delivered great progress, and promises more, both politically and economically.”
This is a response to a proposed plan to transition the oversight of Internet domain names to a global multi-stakeholder community. The loosely designed plan has prompted many fears that authoritarian regimes will influence and undermine the goal of making the Internet more accessible to people around the globe.
Senator Ted Cruz (Texas) and Congressman Sean Duffy (Wis.) introduced companion legislation in both Chambers, entitled the Protecting Internet Freedom Act, which would ensure no such transition can take place without Congressional approval.
As it currently stands, the US hands off oversight to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit based in California, which is meant to help facilitate the coming transition. The Commerce Department will review a full plan for the transition this month.
However, many lawmakers on the Hill, like Cruz, and Senators James Lankford (Okla.), Mike Lee (Utah), and Marco Rubio (Fla.) are not satisfied. Cruz has championed this bill as the “last chance to save Internet freedom.”