Technology

Trump slams Obama’s internet transition plan

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Donald Trump on Wednesday came out against a plan for the U.S. to relinquish control of functions central to the internet, backing a group of conservative lawmakers seeking to block it.

“Donald J. Trump is committed to preserving internet freedom for the American people and citizens all over the world,” Trump campaign senior policy director Stephen Miller said in a statement.

{mosads}“The Republicans in Congress are admirably leading a fight to save the internet this week, and need all the help the American people can give them to be successful,” he added. “Congress needs to act, or internet freedom will be lost for good, since there will be no way to make it great again once it is lost.”

A plan championed by the Obama administration would see the Department of Commerce end its contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), an organization that manages the domain name system that connects internet users with websites.

Conservative lawmakers led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are trying to place language in a must-pass government funding measure that would slow or stop the transition. They say that it could give hostile countries power over the internet ecosystem if it is allowed to go forward.

Cruz faced Trump in a heated GOP presidential primary fight that occasionally got personal. Cruz has not endorsed Trump for president, garnering anger for snubbing Trump during his Republican National Convention speech in July.

Miller’s statement does not mention Cruz and his role in the fight.

It remains to be seen whether Cruz and his allies will be successful as leaders in the Senate haggle over the funding measure.

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) said Wednesday morning that he is “pretty confident” language delaying the transition would end up in the funding measure.

“I guess all I can tell you is I’m familiar with what’s being proposed, my guess is it will only apply until the [funding measure] expires” in December, Thune said.

Some Democrats, however, have held firm, in saying that they don’t want Congress slowing the transition.

The move to back the efforts of Cruz and others is a rare step by Trump into tech policy. The candidate has yet to release a platform on tech issues, has expressed tepid personal interest in technology and has attacked major tech companies.

Tags Donald Trump John Thune Ted Cruz

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