Commerce Committee Approves DOTCOM Act to Protect the Open Internet

June 25, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation approved S. 1551, the DOTCOM Act, with a technical amendment. The bill was approved by voice vote. The House of Representatives passed an identical companion bill earlier this week by a vote of 378-25.
Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) praised committee passage of the legislation:

"An open, dynamic Internet is good for everyone,” said Senator Thune. "In light of concerns about the potential IANA transition, bipartisan members of the House and the Senate responded with legislation that was approved by the committee today. By requiring a certification to Congress before any transfer of IANA functions, this legislation has been designed to increase ICANN’s accountability, protect the open Internet, and help keep the Internet free from control by foreign governments.”
"The Internet has become an integral part of life, connecting people and businesses across the globe,” said Sen. Schatz. “As the NTIA transitions the IANA to the global Internet community,  we must work together to ensure the transition process includes proper protections to preserve the free and open Internet we have come to rely on. The DOTCOM Act is an important step in the right direction and will give Congress the necessary tools to conduct its oversight duties.”

The DOTCOM Act ensures that a transfer of U.S. involvement in the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) would not allow foreign powers to gain control over critical Internet functions. Specifically, the act prohibits a U.S. transfer of IANA functions until 30 “legislative days” after the National Telecommunications and Information Administration submits a report to Congress certifying that the proposed transition meets a series of requirements and that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has adopted accountability reforms into its bylaws.
Earlier this month, leading committee members introduced the DOTCOM Act, including Chairman Thune, Subcommittee Ranking Member Schatz, and subcommittee chairmen Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

Click here for a copy of S. 1551, the DOTCOM Act, with the Thune-Schatz technical amendment.