Congress is ironing out another of its continuing resolutions. Conservatives led by Ted Cruz are insisting that the resolution include language that would block the transition away from U.S. oversight of the Internet’s domain name system. Donald Trump has backed Cruz in this fight.
Why is ongoing U.S. oversight so important? Because, as Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, says:
Continuing U.S. oversight of the Internet’s domain name system protects the First Amendment rights of everyone who uses the Internet and prevents the creation of a global monopoly that one day could censor the Internet absent U.S. governance.
Sen. Cruz explains that if we hand oversight of the domain name system to an international organization, as President Obama seeks to do, countries like Russia, China, and Iran might be able to censor speech on the Internet, including here in the U.S., by blocking access to sites they don’t like.
These and other authoritarian regimes would love nothing more than to censor the web on a global basis. Unless Congress acts, the Obama administration will significantly improve their prospects for doing so.
Unfortunately, the congressional Republicans may be on the verge of caving. According to Manning, it’s being reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan have surrendered U.S. oversight of the Internet’s domain name system in negotiations with the Democrats to fund the government.
It would be particularly pathetic for Speaker Ryan to cave. As Manning notes, the Obama Administration ignored previous defunds of the internet giveaway. For Ryan now to rubber stamp the giveaway would make a mockery of his his call to restore Article One powers.
A vote for the continuing resolution is a vote to surrender the Internet to Google, Facebook, China, Russia, the United Nations and who knows who else. We will mourn the day we gave this away, and Republicans will have been the ones who rubber stamped it.
Fortunately, the reported GOP capitulation is not, apparently, a done deal. That’s the good news. The bad news is that time is running short.
To make your opposition to the internet giveaway known to Congress right away, you can sign this petition and call 202-224-3121.
JOHN adds: This Michael Ramirez cartoon, with a classical theme, is apt. Click to enlarge: