The idea of an origin-based sales tax was brought to lawmakers by Chris Cox, a former congressman who is now lobbies for trade association called NetChoice that represents Overstock.com and a handful of other Internet firms.
“I don’t see how the future ends up being better than the last decade of responsible stewardship by the U.S.,” said Steve DelBianco, executive director of the trade association NetChoice, which counts Yahoo and Facebook as members. “Once the contract leverage is gone, what’s to prevent ICANN from being more significantly influenced by [specific] governments. … The devil is in the details.”
Former Representative Christopher Cox, who was testifying on behalf of trade group NetChoice, pointed out that consumer data shifting from entity to entity could be a huge privacy problem, especially in light of recent major data breaches. The House should continue to look for alternatives, one that will truly be fair to retailers and consumers alike.
Steve DelBianco, the executive director of NetChoice, a pro-business tech group, said the U.S. was bound to eventually give up its role overseeing Internet addresses. But he said lawmakers and the Obama administration will have to ensure that ICANN will still be held accountable before handing the group the keys to the address system in 2015.
DelBianco warned that without proper safeguards, Russian President Vladimir Putin or another authoritarian leader could pressure ICANN to shut down domains that host critical content.
“That kind of freedom of expression is something that the U.S. has carefully protected,” DelBianco said in an interview. “Whatever replaces the leverage, let’s design it carefully.”
C’est ce côté vague qui provoque l’inquiétude. “Il est impensable que l’ICANN soit responsable du monde entier”, a affirmé Steve DelBlanco, le directeur de NetChoice, une organisation qui représente de grandes entreprises internet américaines, au Washington Post. “C’est comme être responsable de personne.”
“It’s inconceivable that ICANN can be accountable to the whole world. That’s the equivalent of being accountable to no one,” said Steve DelBianco, executive director of the NetChoice Internet commerce businesses group, according to The Washington Post.
U.S. trade group NetChoice questioned the decision. The announcement comes after a series of revelations about U.S. National Security Agency surveillance programs across the Internet, coming from leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
“I hope it’s not just a frightened reaction to the Snowden revelations, which have nothing to do with the Internet Domain Name System,” NetChoice executive director Steve DelBianco said by email. “Maybe the administration wants to rack up political points for upcoming [Internet governance] meetings. I’m afraid those points won’t be worth what this move may cost.”
The end of the contract means the NTIA will not be able to continue to push ICANN to improve its services, as it has in recent years, DelBianco said. “The IANA contract is the only real check on ICANN’s power,” he added. “While we all want a strong and independent ICANN, it makes no sense to release the organization from IANA’s contractual leverage before it creates real and permanent accountability mechanisms.”
In addition, ICANN could now “escape its legal presence in the US, despite having many contracts that are adjudicated under U.S. law,” he said.
“I hope it’s not just a frightened reaction to the Snowden revelations, which have nothing to do with the Internet Domain Name System,” Steve DelBianco, executive director of trade group NetChoice, told PCWorld. “Maybe the administration wants to rack up political points for upcoming [Internet governance] meetings. I’m afraid those points won’t be worth what this move may cost.”