Senator Ted Cruz has upped the ante in his campaign against ICANN and the IANA transition. Over the past few months Cruz has written multiple letters to ICANN and others. Today, however, he switched gears and introduced a bill to the US Senate. The bill’s very title gives an indication of its tone and content: “The Protecting Internet Freedom Act”.
The “freedom” line isn’t a new one for Cruz and his supporters and is explained in a press release and background document the senator released earlier today to coincide with the bill’s introduction.
You can read both the background document and the bill in its entirety below. Short version: the IANA transition is a terrible idea and if the US government lets it proceed it’ll be ceding control of the internet to evil regimes such as China and Russia.
The entire thing is predicated on an intentional misinterpretation of both the US relationship with ICANN and the IANA functions, as well as a visceral rejection of any policies tabled by the outgoing Obama administration.
That the bill was introduced won’t come as a surprise by most ICANN observers. If it hadn’t come from Cruz, it’d have probably been tabled by another conservative. Bear in mind that for many US conservatives the Internet is viewed as being “American” and the IANA transition would mean ceding US “property” to foreign powers.
Here’s the background document:
And the bill in its entirety:
What next? I guess we’ll find out in the coming weeks.