Cruz introduces domain name bill

Cruz introduces domain name bill
© Greg Nash/The Hill

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Washington on edge amid SCOTUS vacancy Murkowski: Supreme Court nominee should not be taken up before election Battle lines drawn on precedent in Supreme Court fight MORE (R-Texas) and a House colleague introduced a bill on Wednesday that gives Congress more control over the transition from a United States-controlled internet domain system.

Under the legislation, the Commerce Department would have to stay in control of the domain name system until Congress “expressly grants” it the authority to conduct the transition. The bill also requires the agency to confirm to Congress that the U.S. will remain in control of the .gov and .mil domains.


The draft law, called the Protecting Internet Freedom Act, has the backing of several major conservative groups. A House companion for the bill is sponsored by Rep. Sean DuffySean DuffyCNN's Ana Navarro to host Biden roundtable on making 'Trump a one-term president' Bottom line McCarthy blasts Pelosi's comments on Trump's weight MORE (R-Wis.).

Cruz has been an outspoken opponent of the transition. Currently, the Department of Commerce has a contract with the Internet Assigned Number Authority, part of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. The Commerce Department is on the verge of saying whether a plan to transition the system away from U.S. control meets its standards.

Cruz held up a less-strict bill aimed at giving Congress more authority over the transition last summer.

Critics say they believe the transition will place the domain name system in the hands of foreign governments who could use the power for ill.

“The Obama administration is months away from deciding whether the United States Government will continue to provide oversight over core functions of the Internet and protect it from authoritarian regimes that view the Internet as a way to increase their influence and suppress freedom of speech,” said Cruz in a statement. “This issue threatens not only our personal liberties, but also our national security.”