Center for Democracy & Technology

For Immediate Release

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Brian Wesolowski
Director of Communications
+1 (202) 407-8814

Coalition Urges Congress to Ensure Successful IANA Transition

In a letter released today, the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) and other civil society organizations urged members of Congress to do everything they can to ensure a successful, timely IANA stewardship transition by September 30, 2016. The undersigned organizations are dedicated to fighting censorship and defending freedom online, and believe the IANA transition is critical to the future of the Internet. Several excerpts from the letter are below:

"We believe the best defense against foreign governments exerting control over the Internet is to finish the transition on time. The transition of these functions away from the US government removes an excuse for authoritarian countries to demand greater oversight and regulation of Internet issues."

"The IANA transition is not an 'Internet give-away' as some would characterize it. Since the Internet's inception, the US government has worked together with businesses, technologists, individuals, and civil society organizations to ensure that the Internet remains a tool that can bring about social, economic, and political change and further the realization of human rights. These are the same stakeholders that developed the transition plan's detailed governance and accountability measures and stand by those measures today."

"If the US Government does not keep faith with its commitment to the transition, that will undermine the trust that all of the parties have in the system. Such mistrust could lead to much more drastic changes to the Internet than merely letting the NTIA contract expire, as it is set to do."

 As CDT wrote in a blog post this morning, stopping or delaying the IANA transition will undermine the interests of businesses, human rights organizations, the technical community, and the US government. Greater government controls, the loss of free expression, and a weakening of multistakeholder Internet policy globally would also result. We and other leading human rights organizations will continue to advocate for and work towards a smooth transition.

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The Center for Democracy and Technology works to promote democratic values and constitutional liberties in the digital age. With expertise in law, technology, and policy, CDT seeks practical solutions to enhance free expression and privacy in global communications technologies. CDT is dedicated to building consensus among all parties interested in the future of the Internet and other new communications media.

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