Protecting Internet Freedom Act

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The Protecting Internet Freedom Act is proposed United States legislation introduced by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the Senate (S.3034) and Representative Sean Duffy (R-WI) in the House of Representatives (H.R.5418)[1][2] The bill seeks to prevent the National Telecommunications and Information Administration from ending the IANA functions contract and transitioning oversight to the global multistakeholder community and ensure that the U.S. Government maintains its ownership and control of the .gov and .mil TLDs. The bill would prohibit the NTIA from relinquishing oversight of the IANA Functions without a Federal statute grants them the authority to do so. It would also require the NTIA ensures, through a contract with ICANN that the U.S. Government has exclusive ownership of .gov and .mil and will retain that control in perpetuity.[3]

The identical Senate and House bills were proposed 8 June 2016 and 9 June 2016 respectively.


The proposed bill drew praise as support in the Republican party's 2016 Platform, stating opposition to the Obama administration's decision to relinquish the U.S. Governments control over the IANA functions and saluted the Congressional Republicans who have proposed legislation to impede the plans to "the Information Freedom Highway to regulators and tyrants."[4]


Just over a month after the Protecting Internet Freedom Act was proposed, Larry Strickling spoke at IGF-USA 2016 and addressed many of the criticisms and campaigns against the IANA Stewardship Transition proposal. While not directly addressing the proposed legislation, he began his speech by using its title to say that "Protecting Internet freedom and openness has been a key criterion for the IANA transition from the day we announced it in March 2014." and that "What will not be effective to protect Internet freedom is to continue the IANA functions contract."[5] He argued that the existing contract with ICANN is not enough to protect Internet freedom and that the community powers afforded by the transition plan will be more effective means of accountability and steering ICANN's operations.