US Congress hearing discusses pros and cons regarding the IANA stewardship transition

On 14 September, a hearing on the IANA stewardship transition was held in the US Congress, at the initiative of Sen. Ted Cruz. The hearing, which was aimed to ‘investigate the possible dangers of the transition’, included testimonies from NTIA, ICANN, and few other witnesses who argued both in favour and against the transition. Some of the arguments presented were related to: the transition as a tool to ‘increase the power of foreign governments’ within ICANN; the transition as a risk to Internet freedom; delaying or preventing the transition as a risk to the multistakehoder model of Internet governance; the need to allow the transition to happen gradually, in order to test the new system. Other issues that were brought forward included: ICANN’s jurisdiction; US government property implications of the transition; and whether or not NTIA has complied with the legal provisions prohibiting the use of appropriations funds to relinquish the US government stewardship role over the IANA functions.