US Congress blocks IANA transition funding


Late last week, the House Appropriations Committee of the US Congress approved a funding bill for the 2015 fiscal year that included a draft budget for the Department of Commerce, the government agency that houses the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

It was NTIA that proposed the initiative, backed by internet users and ICANN, to transfer control over domain name functions from the US government to the global community. However, the initiative has not been backed by the US legislators so far. Currently, the US Congress is considering at least two bills that interfere with the process one way or another. For example, the 2015 bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee does not assign any funds to carry out the transfer.

In their report attached to the bill, members of the committee state that the transfer of NTIA’s control functions over DNS is an important change in public policy that requires greater transparency and further debate by Congress. The approved bill will have to survive several more votes before taking effect.