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 Cruz Eye-popping number of Dems: I can beat Trump 'SleepyCreepy Joe' and 'Crazy Bernie': Trump seeks to define 2020 Dems with insults The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Restrictive state abortion laws ignite fiery 2020 debate MORE (R-Texas) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeFrustrated GOP senators want answers from Trump on Iran Congress can expand paid leave and help workers save with bipartisan support Export-Import Bank back to full strength after Senate confirmations 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 TrumpTrump calls for Republicans to be 'united' on abortion Tlaib calls on Amash to join impeachment resolution Facebook temporarily suspended conservative commentator Candace Owens 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.