Timothy M. Denton

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Best legislation that money can buy

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I heard today, from someone who is a position to know, that the IANA transition from Department of Commerce oversight cost 3.5 million dollars in campaign donations.

The transition of the IANA function (registration of names and numbers in the root) from direct US Department of Commerce was proposed in March 2014. Senator Cruz, the former Republican candidate, opposed the transition and sought to block the Department of Commerce from spending any money on the process. His stated reasons were that the transition away from US government oversight could lead to the control of the Internet's core function by unsavoury or hostile regimes. In due course the Internet community, composed of three main groups: numbers management, protocol parameters, and domain names, reached agreement on the structure of self governance that would prevail in the future. 

The transition proposal went to the United States Congress, where there was some agitation to attach a rider to a spending bill  that would have blocked the transition. The cost of getting certain legislators to refrain from messing up the deal was, I am informed, $3.5 million in legal campaign donations.

All of which is considered perfectly normal in the United States of America.

 

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Timothy Denton is a lawyer by training who practices principally in telecommunications and Internet policy and domain name issues, with a strong concentration on explaining what the technology is and what it means.

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Guest Tuesday, 17 October 2017
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