Congress prepares for legal action over ICANN transition

As the end of September approaches, and the planned handover of ultimate responsibility for internet naming by the US Government, it has emerged that Congress is making preparations to take legal action to halt the transition.

House Resolution 853, introduced by Congressman Mike Kelly on the 8th September will authorise the Speaker of the House to initiate civil action (or intervene in an existing action)regard  “compliance of the executive branch with the provision of law prohibiting relinquishment of the responsibility of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration with respect to Internet domain name system functions.”

This development doesn’t make certain that there will be legal action against the Department of Congress, but it makes it more likely.

We will find out between now and the end of the month if this is just sabre-rattling or if the long-brewing (principally Republican) objections to the ICANN transition will boil over into an out-and-out fight between the legislative and executive branches, in the sunset weeks of the Obama administration.

The full text of the Resolution may be found at :-


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