Senator Cruz’ campaign against the IANA transition is, in many ways, the gift that keeps on giving. Unfortunately, however, Cruz is an able orator. Earlier today Cruz addressed the US Senate and while his speech is full of misleading rhetoric, and some gross factual inaccuracies, you can see how a good orator could win over an audience. If you’re already predisposed to believing the rhetoric and aren’t familiar with how ICANN, domain names or the internet as a whole functions, then you could come away from that speech and feel that what he’s saying makes a lot of sense. And you might even believe that the internet is under threat. The fact that what he’s saying is just plain wrong, and on so many levels, won’t matter to that segment of the US body politique that swallows this kind of rhetoric whole and without question.
Here’s the full speech:
As Andrew notes, most of what Cruz says in the speech is either completely untrue or highly misleading.
ICANN is NOT the UN. Yes, governments have a seat at the table, but so do the rest of us.
Yes, the US has freedom of speech, but it’s not absolute.
No, post-IANA transition you won’t have more online censorship than you have now.
Yes, the internet gives you plenty of freedom of expression, but it’s not a law unto itself and the US government has seized plenty of domain names and taken many sites offline. Oddly Cruz doesn’t mention any of that (and I’m not saying that the US government shouldn’t have taken them offline, but Cruz seems to want us all to believe that the “freedom” is somehow without any possible limits currently)
I could go on, but even trying to reply to the many baseless and crazy claims in the speech is giving me a serious headache.
The image at the top of this post comes from the latest iteration of Cruz’ anti-IANA transition and anti-Obama campaign, which he’s now promoting via his personal site here. I’m not sure how he can justify collecting donations for this crusade, but he’s given the crusade a degree of urgency.