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Statements in Response to Ntia Announcement to Globalize ICANN

Statements in Response to Ntia Announcement to Globalize ICANN

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Published by Bennet Kelley
Statements in support and opposition of decision to transition to independent ICANN.
Statements in support and opposition of decision to transition to independent ICANN.

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Published by: Bennet Kelley on Mar 26, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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The Internet was invented and developed in the U.S., and it has completely transformed the way people communicate and do business in every corner of the world. Since 1998, the U.S. has been committed to transitioning
management of the Internet’s domain
name system to an independent entity that reflects the broad diversity of the
global Internet community. NTIA’s
announcement today that it is beginning the process of transferring additional domain name functions to ICANN is the next phase in this transition. It is also consistent with other efforts the U.S. and our allies are making to promote a free and open Internet, and to preserve and advance the current multi-stakeholder
model of global Internet governance.”
My colleagues and I on the Commerce Committee will be watching closely to see if the transition NTIA has announced results in an acceptable structure to ensure a stable and free Internet. But I trust the innovators and entrepreneurs more than the bureaucrats--whether they're in D.C. or Brussels.
I welcome the announcement by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to transition
from its role in coordinating the Internet’s
domain name system to a multistakeholder governance community, guided by the principles of an open, secure, stable and resilient Internet.
 And we have to decide: Do we fully embrace
the original vision of the Internet’s founders and
truly commit ourselves to the multistakeholder system that they helped establish? Or do we tell the world that one single government, our government, must maintain its singular contractual oversight over these vital functions? We are choosing to put our faith in the multistakeholder system, knowing that the
Internet’s future direction is best led by the
people who helped make it what it is today -- innovators, entrepreneurs, activists, and users who together provide its incalculable economic and social value. Since our announcement, some critics have claimed that this move opens the door for certain authoritarian states to somehow seize control of the Internet, blocking free speech and inhibiting a multitude of legitimate activity. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our transition announcement asks the [ICANN] to convene a multistakeholder process to develop a community-supported proposal for
transitioning the U.S. government’s
role. ICANN will work collaboratively with the directly affected parties. . . . In developing this proposal, the Internet community will finally fully own and perform these functions; we are thereby taking stewardship by any government or group of governments off the table. Given the remarkable success that the Internet has become through the efforts of these and other stakeholders, we are confident that the fiercely devoted Internet community will serve as appropriate stewards of these functions, and we and like-minded governments will defend their right and ability to do so.

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