A group of four Republican members of Congress, including presidential candidate Ted Cruz, have challenged the Obama Administration’s right to transfer control of the IANA function to the “global stakeholder community”.
In a letter (pdf) to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the group asks the regulator to determine the legal status of the “root zone file” – the file which contains an authoritative list of the names and addresses of all top-level domain names.
- Would the termination of the US government’s contract with ICANN cause government property, of any kind, to be transferred to ICANN?
- Is the authoritative root zone file, or other related or similar materials or information, United States government property?
- If so, does the US government have the authority to transfer the root zone file or other related materials or information to a non-federal entity?
The letter, signed by Senator Charles Grassley, Congressman Bob Goodlatte, Congressman Darrell Issa and presidential candidate Ted Cruz, argues that the “root zone file” is the property of the US government.
…the United States acquired title to the root zone file because it was invented pursuant to Department of Defense contracts. In addition, the United States has long claimed ownership or control over the root zone file. For example, President Clinton’s Internet “czar” Ira Magaziner asserted United States ownership of the entire Domain Name System because “[t]he United States paid for the Internet, the Net was created under its auspices, and most importantly everything [researchers] did was pursuant to government contracts.”
For more information, see: ICANN taking over the ‘net from Uncle Sam? Ted Cruz to the rescue! – The Register