‘High Noon’ Showdown Hearing In US Over Internet Control 14/09/2016 by Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Former US Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz today used a 3.5 hour hearing of a Senate subcommittee he chairs to attempt to scare the US Commerce Department National Telecommunications and Information Administration away at the last minute from its plans to transition out of its stewardship role for the internet root zone system. The hearing was held in the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts. Sen. Ted Cruz chairs today’s panel On 30 September, the NTIA contract for the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is scheduled to end. NTIA has declared its intention not to renew the contract after two years of preparations by the stakeholder community of ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, to take up the task through a fully privatised system. The root zone of the domain name system has been compared to a “phonebook” of the internet, matching names and IP addresses and helping people to arrive at the authoritative servers for all DNS zones on the internet. Cruz grilled Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence Strickling over a budget freeze for relinquishing control over the internet. Strickling pointed to the fact that so far money had only been spent for preparing the transition, also pointing to a committee decision that NTIA should review the proposals for the transition. Cruz warned NTIA employees against following what he called “a tortured interpretation” of the budgetary freeze. NTIA employees risk their careers, fines and even jail time, he said, pointing to a potential change in the administration after the election. With all boxes ticked by ICANN and its community for the transition and a long list of US tech companies, tech organisations and individuals (see here and here) imploring the US administration to see the transition through, Cruz’ menaces might come too late to delay the transition. But given the unpredictabilities of US politics and campaigns, more could happen. Online security company VeriSign, acting and future root-zone maintainer (the technical back-end for the root-zone), got bashed harshly for example for sending what was described as “threats” to two transition-delay-friendly witnesses. Contrary to Cruz, the many proponents of the transition are afraid that another delay will only be a “gift” to those countries that have long pushed for an alternative to a multi-stakeholder system. Image Credits: US Senate Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Monika Ermert may be reached at email@example.com."‘High Noon’ Showdown Hearing In US Over Internet Control" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.