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Trump Joins Cruz Effort to Block Domain Name Hand-Off

Donald Trump's national policy director says the presidential candidate is opposed to the Obama Administration plan to turn oversight of Internet domain names to a multistakeholder model.

"Donald J. Trump is committed to preserving Internet freedom for the American people and citizens all over the world," said Trump campaign national policy director Stephen Miller. "The U.S. should not turn control of the Internet over to the United Nations and the international community.

He gave a shout-out to the Republican effort led by Trump's former primary opponent, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), to block the hand-off

"The Republicans in Congress are admirably leading a fight to save the Internet this week, and need all the help the American people can give them to be successful," said Miller in a statement on the campaign Web site. "Hillary Clinton’s Democrats are refusing to protect the American people by not protecting the Internet.

The National Telecommunication & Information Administration's contract with ICANN to oversee the internet domain naming (IANA) authority is due to expire at the end of this month. Republicans are worried that Russia or China would fill a perceived void left by the U.S. exit.

ISPs, including cable operators, are generally OK with the hand-off so long as control remains multistakeholder.

"U.S. oversight has kept the Internet free and open without government censorship – a fundamental American value rooted in our Constitution’s Free Speech clause. Internet freedom is now at risk with the President’s intent to cede control to international interests, including countries like China and Russia, which have a long track record of trying to impose online censorship."

NTIA chief Larry Strickling has argued that delaying the privatization of IANA was what would be the gift to those regimes, saying that "failing to follow through on the transition or unilaterally extending the contract will only embolden authoritarian regimes to intensify their advocacy for government-led or intergovernmental management of the Internet via the United Nations."

Also weighing in has been Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, who said it is Cruz trying to engineer a U.S. takeover of ICANN.

Related: GAO says IANA Hand-off doesn't need Hill OK