THE UNITED STATES SENATE is poised to quash a Government shutdown threatened by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in spite of the Republican nominee for president Donald Trump lending his support to the cause.
Majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Thursday filed a continuing resolution to fund the government with no mention of blocking the administrations IANA transition. The democrats still have to look over the proposed measure and sign on, but the bill is expected to pass the chamber and be presented to Obama on Monday. The IANA stewardship transition, set to take effect on Sept. 30, is the U.S. government’s final step in a years-long process to transfer management of the Internet’s domain name system to the private sector. The U.S. National Telecommunications & Information Administration, part of the Department of Commerce, will relinquish its stewardship of IANA to the nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN.
McConnell’s action followed Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump’s Wednesday announcement that he would back the efforts of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to prevent the planned transition of control.
Cruz had threatened to block passage of the spending bill, effectively shutting down the government, if the IANA transition should go forward. The Trump campaign jumped into the fray with a call for the Republican party to unite in an effort to prevent the transition, sounding an alarm over potential censorship of the Internet.
Supporters of the transition, including World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, have insisted that the move would have no impact whatsoever on online censorship.
ICANN only supervises domain names, explained Berners-Lee and Daniel Weitzner, director of the MIT Internet Policy Research Initiative, in an editorial published in The Washington Post. The actual flow of traffic, and with it speech, would remain up to the individual network and platform operators.