Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 10, 2016

Sean Duffy’s Domain Name System Measure Stirs a Response


(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Wisconsin’s Sean P. Duffy is the latest Republican to weigh in on a plan by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to transfer its  role in key Internet domain name system functions to what is known as the global multi-stakeholder community.

Duffy plans to offer an amendment to the fiscal 2015 spending bill that covers science and tech agencies, including NTIA, that would block the government from spending any money to relinquish the agency’s role in the Internet domain name system. The bill is on the House floor today. The GOP-led House Energy and Commerce Committee approved a separate measure earlier this month that would delay the transfer until the Government Accountability Office reviews the plan.

Americans for Tax Reform’s Digital Liberty supports Duffy’s amendment and sent a letter to Republican House offices:

… Congressman Duffy’s Amendment ensures that the Administration does not take pre-emptive action by prohibiting funding for the purpose of handing over the responsibilities of oversight of generic top-level domain names to an undefined entity.

In a letter yesterday to House leadership and top lawmakers on the House Appropriations Committee, the Internet Association and the Information Technology Industry Council said they support the NTIA’s plan and opposed the amendment:

We also wish to express concern regarding efforts to limit the availability of funding that will be essential in ensuring a successful transition. In particular, amendments such as the one being considered by Representative Sean Duffy to H.R. 4660, the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill, would significantly impede this important undertaking.

They add: “However, it is important to note that as Congress deliberates, the world watches to see whether as a nation we are truly committed to the multi-stakeholder approach to Internet governance. A successful transition will require months and perhaps years of careful planning and execution, as well as a steady commitment of resources to achieve the desired outcome. Any disruption in resources would be detrimental to this goal.”

  • Roberta Crichton

    Although democracy may be confused with liberty, the majority opinion of a democracy may be opposed to liberty, as 1930s Germany proved.

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