Ted Cruz is not too pleased with President Obama’s plan to relinquish control of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The shift is scheduled for October 1, and Cruz and other GOP lawmakers are not about to let it happen without a fight. It must be noted that iCANN doesn’t control internet content and gears itself mainly towards coordinating a uniform policy on the domain name system.
“Today our country faces a threat to the internet as we know it. In 22 short days, if Congress fails to act, the Obama administration intends to give away the internet to an international body akin to the United Nations,” Cruz said on the Senate floor Thursday. “I rise today to discuss the significant, irreparable damage this proposed internet giveaway could wreak not only on our nation, but on free speech across the world.” Cruz, who chairs the Senate Judiciary oversight subcommittee, has scheduled a hearing for next week to “investigate possible dangers” of the plan.
The Texas Senator has already launched a website, which displays an ominous countdown “until Obama gives away the Internet.” Cruz also narrates his own gloomy PSA, which you can see below. “Right now, the Obama administration is trying to push through a radical proposal to give away control of the Internet to foreign countries,” his voiceover warns. “ICANN … would empower countries like Russia and China and Iran.”
On Wednesday, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune, a Republican from South Dakota, said that Senate Republicans will be including language to delay the transition in a resolution to fund the government. House Republicans are also thinking about adding similar rhetoric to an upcoming appropriations bill, according to Politico.