GOP Wants Review of Internet Governance Before US Gives Up Control

The Obama administration’s plan to relinquish U.S. control of the Internet’s architecture to a group of international stakeholders isn’t going over well on Capitol Hill.

Republicans want to review any handover agreement, while members of both parties are saying the California nonprofit that manages the Internet’s addressing system needs to do a better job protecting American copyrights before President Barack Obama turns over control.

“Who’s going to be there when something goes wrong?” asked Rep. Joe L. Barton, a Texas Republican, at a House Energy and Commerce hearing last week. “I’ve yet to hear this vaunted multi-stakeholder process come up with an enforcement mechanism.”

In March 2014, the Commerce Department, which manages the contract with the California group, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, said it would surrender the contract to a group of corporate executives, nonprofit Internet experts and government officials. The handover would occur in September 2015, when the current contract runs out.

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