The DOTCOM Act give Congress appropriate oversight

By Audrey Plonk, global security and Internet policy specialist at Intel 

ICANN’s 53rd meeting in Buenos Aires is coming to a close two days after the revised bi-partisan DOTCOM Act was approved by a bipartisan supermajority in the U.S. House of Representatives and the voted out of the Senate Commerce Committee.

The DOTCOM Act takes a more constructive and responsible approach to meeting the goal that nearly everyone shares: a trustworthy, stable and global Internet with globally accountable governance institutions. The bill requires NTIA to certify that that transition proposal meets the criteria outlined in the transition announcement and that the accountability reforms for ICANN, recommended by the multistakeholder community, are implemented. It also gives Congress a reasonable timeframe – 30 days – to review NTIA’s report.

In my testimony, I expressed Intel’s support for a timely transition – one in which the timeframe is not externally or unilaterally dictated but also not unnecessarily rushed. The DOTCOM Act provides Congress with a constructive mechanism to exercise oversight of this critical transition.  It also supports and reaffirms multistakeholder processes while assuaging concerns that the U.S. will act hastily or irresponsibly. Continued transparency in the transition process and continued participation from all stakeholders – as was the case in Buenos Aires this week – remains critical as we complete the final phase of the transition.