A proposal being circulated by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, would block the plan to transfer control of a key component of the Internet before President Obama leaves office.
Cruz’s “Protecting Internet Freedom Act” would direct the Department of Commerce to retain ownership of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. The administration has sought to transfer the agency, which is responsible for administrative functions that transform code into language on the Internet, to an international authority called ICANN. Lawmakers worry that arrangement could empower countries like China and Iran to engage in more censorship, either at home or abroad.
“The U.S. government has long protected the core of the Internet from authoritarian regimes who view the Internet as a way to increase their influence and suppress our online freedom of speech,” Cruz said in a background document being circulated with the bill. “The United States cannot allow authoritarian regimes to increase their influence over the core operating functions of the Internet.”
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