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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 CruzQuinnipiac poll finds Biden, Trump tied in Texas China could cut our access to critical minerals at any time — here's why we need to act The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Two weeks out, Trump attempts to rally the base MORE (R-Texas) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeEnd the American military presence in Somalia Ted Cruz won't wear mask to speak to reporters at Capitol Michigan Republican isolating after positive coronavirus test 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 TrumpMore than 300 military family members endorse Biden Five takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate Biden: 'I would transition from the oil industry' 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.