Eshoo backs Commerce decision to relinquish Internet management role

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) applauded the recent decision by the Obama administration to relinquish its oversight role in Internet governance.

"I’ve long held the belief and championed the U.S. support for the successful multistakeholder model for Internet governance," Eshoo — the leading Democrat on the House Commerce subcommittee on technology — said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced late last week it would be relinquishing its oversight role of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which runs the technical side of the Internet's domain name system.

The Commerce agency said that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers — which manages the assignment of domain names and operates the technical side of the domain name system under contract with the Commerce Department — will convene Internet stakeholders to develop proposals for transitioning oversight of IANA from the U.S. government to a global entity.

Eshoo said she welcomes the transition "to a multistakeholder governance community, guided by the principles of an open, secure, stable and resilient Internet.”

“Multistakeholder governance of the Internet is essential to preserving a global Internet driven by choice, competition and innovation, and making it a revolutionary tool for commerce and freedom of expression," she said.

While some have praised the Commerce agency's move as a step toward globalizing the Internet, others worry it would allow foreign governments to impose limits on the Internet.

Earlier this year, Eshoo said she would not support an Internet governance model that allowed other countries to change the open and global nature of the Internet. 

The U.S. “gave birth” to the Internet, Eshoo said on an episode of C-SPAN's "The Communicators," and countries “with a different view” should not be allowed to impose restrictions.

 “I don’t want to go there. I don’t want to see that."