ICYMI: Cruz Efforts to Keep the Internet Free Garner Support
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, Fox Business News’ Charles Payne touted U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) Protecting Internet Freedom Act and shared concerns over the looming Internet transition. Additionally, The Wall Street Journal’s L. Gordon Crovitz on Monday penned an op-ed, supporting Cruz’s bill and calling on Congress to act in order to keep U.S. oversight and protection of the Internet intact.
It’s make or break for the internet as we know it. Unless Congress acts this summer, the Obama administration will end U.S. protection of the internet, handing authoritarian regimes the power they have long sought to censor the web globally, including in the U.S.
The battle lines were drawn last week when the Obama administration backed a plan submitted by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or Icann, to free itself in September from the U.S. oversight that has kept the internet open since the 1990s. In response, bills were introduced in the Senate and House to block the Obama internet surrender.
Trusting China and Russia to leave the internet alone takes Obama administration naïveté to a new level.
Aside from flaws in the new plan for internet governance, the Obama gambit to end U.S. oversight without congressional approval is unconstitutional. Congress must authorize transfers of U.S. property, which includes the Icann domain system, worth billions of dollars. If the courts later rule that Mr. Obama’s unilateral action violates the separation of powers, there will be no remedy because the contract will be gone forever.
The “Protecting Internet Freedom Act” introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Sean Duffy requires congressional approval before Mr. Obama abandons the internet.
The only way for authoritarian regimes to obtain the power to censor websites outside their own countries, including in the U.S., would be if the Obama administration hands it to them. Time is running out for Congress to insist that the U.S. continue to protect Americans and everyone around the world who values the open internet.