Tech companies want ICANN transition to happen as planned

Some Senate Republicans are trying to block the move at the last minute

The U.S. government's plan to end its oversight of the internet's domain name system should move forward as promised, despite last-minute efforts by some Republican lawmakers to derail the process, a coalition of tech companies and trade groups said.

The U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) should end its supervision of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) on Oct. 1 as planned, said a letter signed by Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Amazon and more than 20 other companies and trade groups.

Some Republican lawmakers, including Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, are trying to halt the transition. Cruz, who has scheduled a Wednesday hearing on the transition, has said the proposal will "give away the Internet" to a multinational organization, even though ICANN's authority is limited to managing the domain name system.

If the plan goes through, "countries like Russia, China, and Iran could be able to censor speech on the internet," Cruz said recently. Those countries already censor the internet within their borders, however.

A transition plan approved by the broad internet community must not be delayed, countered Ed Black, president and CEO of the Computer and Communications Industry Association, one of the trade groups signing the letter. 

The transition must move forward to "ensure the continued stability and openness of the Internet, which bears directly on the economic and national security" of the U.S., Black said by email.

The transition plan, required by the NTIA, is in place and will hold ICANN accountable to the global community, the letter said. Internet companies worked with civil society groups, government organizations, and the technical community on the transition plan, the letter noted. 

"The Internet is defined by its inclusivity and openness," the letter added. "Those critical characteristics are reflected in the work that ... went into the drafting of the transition proposal."

But the transition is "premature and must be postponed," Senator Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, said this week. ICANN still needs some key transparency and process reforms to happen before a transition, he said.

A Hatch-sponsored Senate resolution, passed in February 2015, also calls on the U.S. government and ICANN to take steps to protect the organization "from undue influence or capture by governments, multilateral or intergovernmental organizations, or commercial or noncommercial stakeholders."

Some conservative groups have called on Congress to block the transition, saying the U.S. needs to retain oversight over ICANN to protect internet freedoms. TechFreedom and other groups say if the NTIA ends its oversight contract with ICANN, the agency would violate a congressional appropriations rider barring the agency from moving forward with the plan this year.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?