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Trump Commerce pick told lawmakers he would look at reversing Obama move on internet oversight: report

Trump Commerce pick told lawmakers he would look at reversing Obama move on internet oversight: report
© Greg Nash

David Redl, the assistant Commerce secretary for communications and information, reportedly told GOP lawmakers before he was confirmed that he would convene a panel to look at unwinding the Obama administration's move to international control of the internet.

According to a Politico report, Redl told Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzO'Brien on 2024 talk: 'There's all kinds of speculation out there' Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation McSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol MORE (R-Texas) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeLoeffler isolating after possible COVID-19 infection Rick Scott tests positive for coronavirus OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee | Forest Service finalizes rule weakening environmental review of its projects | Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight MORE (R-Utah) in a letter that he would assemble a "panel of experts to investigate options for unwinding the transition."

Redl, who in his assistant secretary capacity oversees the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, took office in November. It is not clear if he has made good on his pledge or if the Commerce Department is even able to unwind the Obama-era transition. 

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Under the Obama administration, the U.S. government moved to relinquish control over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which manages the internet's global domain name system.

That move was decried by both Cruz and Lee, who argued that it would allow more restrictive countries, like China, to take control of the internet and ultimately curb free speech. 

ICANN previously managed domain names under a U.S. contract. Since October 2016, however, the organization has operated independently under a multistakeholder governance model.

During his 2016 presidential campaign, President TrumpDonald John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE railed against the transfer of ICANN control out of U.S. hands, arguing that it would turn control of the internet over to foreign countries.