ALG - ICANN pressured to police online content


Nov. 19, 2015, Fairfax,Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued thefollowing statement in response aMayer Brown law firm synopsis of the October meeting of the InternetCorporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in Dublin where topicsdiscussed included "the scope of ICANN's ability to regulate onlinecontent":


"The U.S. governmentcontract with ICANN to administer the domain name system has not even lapsedyet, and already, ICANN is openly discussing the scope of its ability toregulate online content. ICANN will be the world's only hub for linkingeasy-to-remember domain names to IP addresses. The only legal constraint thatstops them from censoring content is the First Amendment protections associatedwith fulfilling a U.S. government contract. Remove the contract, and cede theInternet Assigned Numbers Authority functions, as the Obama administrationintends, and those protections are void.


"That is notalarmism, that is cause for alarm. Congress must continue the appropriationsrider authored by Rep. Sean Duffy denying funds to the Commerce Department totransition this authority to a private entity such as ICANN. Anything else isleaving it up to chance, and eventually, China, Russia, or who knows overseasto eventually capture this function. This will be an unregulated globalmonopoly as opposed to a U.S. government vendor, and merely modifying ICANN'smission statement will not be a legally binding mechanism to uphold the freedomof speech and of the press. 


"While outgoing ICANNCEO Fadi Chehade said some of the right things at the meeting, other thingsthat were mentioned such as a 'voluntary framework to handle contractualobligations regarding content,' with or without 'teeth' are troubling and justadd more proof that the transition should not occur. ICANN clearly is underpressure to get into the business of policing content. Congress can just makethis really easy for them and just say no to the transition — again."


To view online:


Americans for Limited Government is a non-partisan, nationwide network committed to advancing free market reforms, private property rights and core American liberties. For more information on ALG please visit our website at