The Conversation

NJ Dem Congressman: Bill Clinton Probably Right About U.S. Ceding Internet Authority

Congressman Bill Pascrell (D - NJ) appears to be siding with former President Bill Clinton and Republicans on Capitol Hill who are concerned about the administration's plans to cede U.S. oversight of the internet to an international body.

"I haven’t come to any conclusion. I think it’s an interesting concept, but I don’t know if I’m supporting it.  I’m not leaning in favor of it—right now," Pascrell told Breitbart News on Monday.

According to recode.net, Clinton bucked the Obama administration and told an audience at a meeting sponsored by the Clinton Global Initiative last Friday, "A lot of people who have been trying to take this authority from the U.S. for the sole purpose of cracking down on Internet freedom and limiting it and having governments protect their backsides instead of empowering the people." 

The former president also said, "Whatever you think our country has done wrong, the United States has been by far the country most committed to keeping the Internet free and open and uninterrupted."

Rep. Tom Price (R - GA) agreed telling Breitbart News, "Ceding the authority of the internet to any other nation is just ceding responsibility for an internet that actually functions and works for people." He added, "Other nations don’t necessarily have the best interests of citizens at heart—they have their country’s best interests at heart but they don’t have the citizens best interest at heart, so I think it’s a terrible idea."

Other Democratic members on the hill appeared bewildered about the issue refusing to comment about the conflict between the administration and Clinton. When informed about Clinton's stance, Sen. Joe Manchin (D - WV) only responded, "I have to talk to Bill about that one.

The Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers  (ICANN) maintains website domain names and is a nonprofit with an international hierarchy of “stakeholders.” This is essentially an organization that includes governments, businesses, and others. However, ICANN has always been under a contract from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Commerce Department announced on March 14 that it would give up   control over the remaining domain names next year. In its stead, a new system of global web governance would take over the operation.


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