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GOP rushes to block: Obama’s ‘internet giveaway’ to Russia, China (and worse countries)

AP Photo/Tim Hales

AP Photo/Tim Hales

If there is one thing that millennials value, it is an open and free internet. Generation Y was born online and were the first to put great content on the web. From entertainment to the so-called “new media” phenomenon, millennials were always at the forefront of the latest trend.

The Obama administration has recently been planning to hand over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the global non-profit that manages the internet’s name domain system, to the “international community.” The transition is set to take place on October 1.

According to Politico, the president and others in his administration are trying to rally support for the plan. The Commerce Department hosted a special event this week that featured many movers and shakers within the online trade organizations, including groups like Internet Society and NetChoice, and attempted to convince them that this is a smart move.

Critics point out the move would give countries like Russia, China, and even Iran an unprecedented opportunity to seize power on the web. They could force censorship onto the online community and curb freedom of speech.

Republicans in both the Senate and the House are trying to put a stop to it.

One in particular, former GOP presidential candidate and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, is leading the charge. He took the Senate floor on Thursday saying, “Today our country faces a threat to the internet as we know it. In 22 short days, if Congress fails to act, the Obama administration intends to give away the internet to an international body akin to the United Nations. I rise today to discuss the significant, irreparable damage this proposed internet giveaway could wreak not only on our nation but on free speech across the world.”

Politico reported that Cruz is going to make the issue a primary focus this month, and has even created a website with a countdown clock to when the transfer takes place.

He has seen growing support among his Republican colleagues including Sens. John Thune of South Dakota, Jerry Moran of Kansas, and even former GOP primary rival Marco Rubio of Florida.

Cruz has not only rallied his colleagues in the Senate, but in the House as well. Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee said, “Think about this. We cannot allow control for Russia or China over U.S. free speech.”

The irony is, the Democrats have long claimed that they are the defenders of free speech. However, on their side of the congressional aisle, the silence is deafening when it comes to surrendering the internet.

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