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On October 1st the USA Will Hand Over Control of the Internet, Endangering Free Speech – Call Congress Now!

Obama has once again broken federal law by instructing the U.S. Dept. of Commerce to relinquish U.S. control of the Internet’s Domain Name System to a ‘privatized’ international body, which will take place on October 1, 2016.

  • Call your senators: 202-224-3121.

  • Tell them to pass S.3034, “Protecting Internet Freedom Act.”

  • The United Nations and other countries have no authority to control access to information and eliminate Americans’ rights protected by the First Amendment.

  • Obama broke the law. Americans have a constitutional right to free speech and freedom of the press.

 

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Here’s what happened.

Congress ordered a federal agency (NTIA) to not let a government contract lapse– especially one that includes the IANA function (comparable to an “Internet phone book”), which has been managed by a non-profit organization in California since 1998.
The agency chose not to comply with a Congress mandate. Meaning, a federal agency run by unelected bureaucrats ignored elected members of Congress, which is illegal. And Obama is doing nothing about it.
Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA (National Telecommunications & Information Administration) Administrator, Lawrence E. Strickling, confirmed that “the NTIA intends to allow the IANA functions contract to expire as of October 1.”
Because the agency did not comply with Congress, and failed to renew its contract before the end of this month, the government will be illegally allowing the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to take over management of the IANA function.
(ICANN is “the private (non-government) non-profit corporation with responsibility for IP address space allocation, protocol parameter assignment, domain name system management, and root server system management functions, the services previously performed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).”)
The Commerce Department does not have the authority to “turn over control of the Internet to ICANN.” It’s against federal law.

The Washington Examiner reports that:

“the feds are constitutionally prohibited from transferring federal property without approval from Congress. A coalition of 25 advocacy groups like Americans for Tax Reform, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Heritage Action sent a letter to Congress making those points last week.”

In response, the coalition of 25 advocacy groups maintain:

 “Congress twice enacted appropriations riders prohibiting any use of taxpayer funds ‘to relinquish the responsibility of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration [NTIA] … with respect to Internet domain name system functions, including responsibility with respect to the authoritative root zone file and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority [IANA] functions.’

“We agree that Internet governance should work from the bottom up, driven by the global comm- unity of private sector, civil society and technical stakeholders. But that “multi-stakeholder” model is fragile. Without robust safeguards, Internet governance could fall under the sway of governments hostile to freedoms protected by the First Amendment.

“If NTIA allows the contract to lapse, it will have violated federal law (31 USC § 1341(a)(1)(A). See also 31 U.S.C § 1350).”

Sen. Ted Cruz introduced S.3034 on June 8, 2016. The bill has been read twice and was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, which is ridiculous. It’s now the first week in September and the Senate still has not acted.
If the Senate does not act they will be allowing a government agency to again break federal law and the very system the U.S. government created.
This will end the U.S. government’s “historic role as a guarantor of Internet governance,” and eliminate any constitutional protections of free speech and freedom of the press.

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Bethany Blankley

Bethany Blankley is a political analyst for Fox News Radio and has appeared on television and radio programs nationwide. She writes about political, cultural, and religious issues in America from the perspective of an evangelical and former communications staffer. She was a communications strategist for four U.S. Senators, one U.S. Congressman, a former New York governor, and several non-profits. She earned her MA in Theology from The University of Edinburgh, Scotland and her BA in Political Science from the University of Maryland. Follow her @bethanyblankley facebook.com/BlankleyBethany/ & BethanyBlankley.com.

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