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Video: Ted Cruz spreads internet FUD all over the Senate floor

Cruz gives speech urging congress to nix upcoming IANA functions transition.


Senator Ted Cruz just gave a speech in the Senate proposing adding an appropriations rider to the upcoming continuing resolution in an effort to halt the IANA transition.

He repeated many of the same false claims he has already made regarding the transition.

Cruz claims ICANN is an international body akin to the United Nations. He claims that the transition empowers China, Russia and Iran to censor the internet.

“Imagine searching the internet…and seeing a disclaimer that the information you’re looking for is censored,” he said. “It [the content] is not consistent with the standards of this new international body. It does not meet their approval.”

Um, ICANN isn’t a new international body. And it doesn’t control content.

Amusingly, he later points out that some internet giants have agreed to censorship requests by certain countries. Cruz suggests that the powers that be are determined to censor the internet. Yet this also shows what we already know: governments and other entities can already apply censorship to some degree inside their own borders. But no one country controls the internet.

Cruz also claims that the only assurance it can get from ICANN about the .gov and .mil domain names remaining in the United States’ control are that it will notify the U.S. government if it plans to give the domains to another entity. He gives an example of what could happen.

“So if someone is going to the IRS, or what you think is the IRS, and you’re comforted that it’s on a .gov website so that you know if must be safe, you may instead find yourself victims of a foreign scam,” he claimed.

Cruz apparently read the following sentence in a letter from ICANN’s CEO:

“ICANN confirms ICANN’s obligation to notify the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of any redelegation requests associated with the U.S. Government administered .mil, .gov, .edu, and .us TLDs.”

But not the very next sentence:

“Further, ICANN confirms that it or its contractor will not take any action to re-delegate these U.S. Government administered domains without first obtaining express written approval from NTIA.”

Cruz then compared the IANA transition to giving up the Panama Canal. He also asked, “Who in their right mind looks at the internet and says, ‘You know what we need, we need Russia to have more control of this'”?

No one did, Ted.

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  1. UN is not objective

    He might not have the right reasons, however he is right in not wanting ICANN to move under the UN!!

    Most people are under the impression that the UN is an objective entity but that is not really the case, at all.

    If you do some serious searching and reading on the topic you will see that their security counsel or human rights counsel for example, has members that are against democracy and they affect the UN resolutions in many cases. It is a known fact.

    Because the UN has to accept countries who are not a democracy , it is controlled in many cases by countries like Iran, Syria etc… As you recall Russia invaded Ukraine etc… The UN is a mess !

    As much as people like to knock down America, it is actually thee democracy of the world.

    To give out the control of the web is suicidal (!)

    At least in the US they still have some control even though its an NGO and ICANN still has its own say.

    Lets also be honest, Icann itself is built from self interest groups too.

    • Joseph Peterson

      “As much as people like to knock down America, it is actually thee democracy of the world.”

      Try “a”. A democracy. One among many.

      You may have heard of “The Economist”. Well, the company that publishes that magazine also reports a “Democracy Index” for 167 nations:


      The USA ranks 20th. Bias? Unlikely. This study was undertaken by a British company; and the UK ranks 16th. The UK, remember, has been the USA’s closest ally in foreign invasions, opposing the UN. Yet neither of those countries are among the most democratic.

      Last time I checked, Switzerland, Scandinavian countries, Canada, Australia, Britain, Germany, Japan, etc. were not ruled by monarchies or fascist dictators.

      It’s ok to like America. But let’s not pretend we’re the only democracy on earth.

      • Christian

        “Last time I checked, Switzerland, Scandinavian countries, Canada, Australia, Britain, Germany, Japan, etc. were not ruled by monarchies or fascist dictators.”

        The point in this context I think is that citizens of the countries you mention have less freedoms than american citizens, the most important of which is free speech.

        Don’t take your freedoms for granted!

        The US is a superior custodian of freedom and liberty and this is probably one of the reasons why the US is so technologically innovative and economically successful.

        The US invented the internet and this has brought tremendous opportunities and prosperity to people all around the world.

        It’s in the interest of the world at large that the US remains at the helm.

        • Joseph Peterson

          “[C]itizens of the countries you mention have less freedoms than american citizens …”


          “The US invented the internet …”

          Tim Berners-Lee is generally credited as the inventor of the worldwide web. And he ain’t no American, partner.

          There’s much to be said for the United States. But one thing Americans cannot be praised for is their knowledge of the world outside their own borders.

          • Aaron Strong

            “There’s much to be said for the United States. But one thing Americans cannot be praised for is their knowledge of the world outside their own borders.”

            For that reason alone the transition is a horrible idea….

          • Joseph Peterson


            Personally, I have no opinion about the transition either way.

            Not convinced that it will be the calamity that Ted Cruz predicts.

            I sympathize with people outside the USA who’d like to participate in defining what rules over them; and in the 21st century that surely includes the internet. Most Americans, if they weren’t Americans, would want their country to have a voice.

            All the same, I find it a bit puzzling that anybody in power would relinquish even a smidgeon of control unnecessarily. Nation states are normally quite selfish, and it’s unclear to me what the USA gets in return for loosening its grip here.

          • Andrew Allemann

            The rationale for relinquishing control (if you can even call it that) is to prevent other countries from trying to push ‘control’ to another type of entity, such as the ITU. The U.S. doesn’t want to see governments having too much sway, and putting it in a UN-type body would be government led.

          • Christian

            @ Joseph


            “The origins of the Internet date back to research commissioned by the United States federal government in the 1960s to build robust, fault-tolerant communication via computer networks.[1] The primary precursor network, the ARPANET, initially served as a backbone for interconnection of regional academic and military networks in the 1980s.”

          • Joseph Peterson


            Yes, I’m aware of that. It’s fair to say that the USA invented the ARPANET.

            But it’s a huge leap from there to the worldwide web. The global internet we have today was conceived outside the USA by a British computer scientist working in Geneva, Switzerland. And the very first website was built in France.

            So it’s simply untrue that America invented the internet. The USA played an important role. But so did other countries.

          • Henry

            Mr. Peterson you do know that there is a difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web? Yes, the US did invent the Internet in its pure form. The World Wide Web which is credited to Tim Berners-Lee is a part of the Internet. The World Wide Web is not the Internet.

            You can still disseminate information and/or data without the World Wide Web but without the Internet, there is no World Wide Web.

            On the main topic of relinquishing control of the Internet, I am one of those voices that vehemently oppose the idea. Yes, other countries may push to establish competing systems, so what? Let them do that. At least we know what we have and how secure it can be if we push to make it so.

            The issue of security as we are witnessing today should be of concern to our government and what we are seeing today is just the beginning. In my view, to relinquish control of the Internet is suicidal.

          • Joseph Peterson


            Yes, I understand that the Worldwide Web is predicated on the internet, and the internet can take other forms – email, for instance.

            But without the web, the internet would not have grown into the essential part of people’s lives (not to mention the economy) that it has become.

            So it’s really an academic point to stress that what we use is American in origin. The underlying layer of the internet is not the internet we experience. The internet we know includes all the added components as well – e.g. websites.

            And that complete apparatus of the internet – by which I mean not only the underlying layer but everything built upon it – has been a cooperative international achievement, not a proprietary national birthright.

            Even we can trace the origins of this infrastructure to the U.S. ARPANET, why must it follow that origin gives ownership?

            Should the Worldwide Web be the sole property of CERN in Geneva?

            The Renaissance, the industrial revolution, and the computer age are all derived from Algebra. Does that mean our civilization ought to be governed by Iran? If not, why not? Al-Khwarizmi, a Persian writing in Arabic, bestowed that technology on us in his treatise, الكتاب المختصر في حساب الجبر والمقابلة‎‎

            Everything we’ve built since is therefore the intellectual property of Iran. Yes?

  2. Aaron Strong

    Cruz makes many valid points concerning National security and free speech. The proponents of the transition are pushing for the changes in order to appease governments with a history of dismal human rights. Empowering oppressive governments is a failure for all people that hold human rights in high regard.

  3. Christian

    A big thank you to Ted Cruz!

    There is no better guardian of the internet than the US. The US protects free speech, individual freedom and liberty!

    Europe, the UN, and most countries in the world simply do not protect these values to the same extent.

    The US should take the lead and remain in control of the internet, for the benefit of freedom-loving people all over the world.

      • Christian


        Not necessarily forever, but for the time being it is the most prudent and responsible.

        The US is not just a symbol of freedom and liberty, the US leads the world in technological innovation, innovation that will alleviate poverty, increase prosperity for everyone, and take us to Mars and beyond.

        History teaches us that no great society lasts forever. But in this moment in time the US is in a unique position to lead the world forward, and we should embrace that.

        • Joseph Peterson


          I won’t say you’re wrong. But I will say that opinions differ.

          Outside the USA, the United States isn’t universally perceived as a “symbol of freedom and liberty”. And not everyone would concede that America ought to be in this “unique position” to police other nations unconstrained or act as sole custodian of the internet.

          You may believe that foreigners who disagree with this idea are wrong, even ungrateful or dangerous. But the notion that America ought to govern the world isn’t self-evidently true. It’s only fair to acknowledge that people who disagree do exist.

          As an experiment, talk to a German, a Brit, or an Australian. They’re all freedom-loving citizens like you. Yet they may see some benefit to democratic global participation in internet governance rather than a U.S.-led autocracy. Most likely, if you had been born in 1 of those countries, you’d be just as free, perhaps more prosperous; and your perspective might be 180 degrees distant from what it is now.

          If the USA invites broader participation, that’s a move toward democracy. Remember that. If the USA really is committed to that idea, then it can’t exercise sole control of 1 of the world’s resources.

          • Christian


            You are putting some words in my mouth and are making some assumptions, but to get to the point:

            “If the USA invites broader participation, that’s a move toward democracy. Remember that. If the USA really is committed to that idea, then it can’t exercise sole control of 1 of the world’s resources.”

            The value of broad participation, and what Andrew alludes to above at 6:13 are perhaps the main arguments for relinquishing control.

            But I think the world would benefit the most if the US is able to remain in control of the internet.

        • janedoe

          Current evidence to the contrary…


          …and the need to go to the toilet during the national anthem.

          Not to mention gun control and foreign policy.

          The US is not a better option because you can’t guarantee that the US won’t abuse such power (as it already has)

          It is just the current option soon to be replaced by another option which may or may not be better, we shall see.

  4. John

    I haven’t watched the video, but first I’ll reiterate what I wrote here: https://domainnamewire.com/2016/09/08/iana-transition-u-s-government-ride-rider/#comment-2240745

    [ Well I’ve certainly made my feelings known before.

    “Recent Actions Cast Doubt on Whether ICANN Is Ready for Transition”


    “An Internet Giveaway to the U.N.

    If the U.S. abdicates internet stewardship, the United Nations might take control.”


    >> “Congress still has time to extend its ban on the Obama administration giving up protection of the internet. Icann has given it every reason to do so.” ]

    And I’ll add this:

    1. Unfortunately, in many people’s minds Cruz is an easy “target”: if he’s behind something, it must be bad.

    2. “The democracy…” Again, I haven’t watched the vid yet, but don’t have to for that one. Seriously? Are people kidding? Anyone can tell you that does not amount to a Princeton and magna cum laude Harvard Law graduate claiming the USA is the only democracy or democratic nation in the world. Please…

    3. “FUD” is the new “conspiracy theory”: just label something a “conspiracy theory,” and that puts an end to it. Fully discredited, case closed, next. Same goes for “FUD” now.

    But just as there are many real “conspiracies” and people even get prosecuted for some of them every day, there is also a time when fear, uncertainty and doubt are called for – and this is one of those times. This “transition” screams legitimate Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt louder than peaking your head around the corner to see if the snipers have left in the middle of the battlefield – and rightly so.

  5. John

    And while my comment is “awaiting moderation,” I’ve got a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) being railroaded onto the country now too to sell you along with this “transition.” Anyone like and support that too and trust whatever people must be thinking with it?

  6. John

    I just watched it a little while ago on YouTube.

    It is truly ironic that he was against Net neutrality, I would note.

    This is what it means to have a truly free and independent mind – it doesn’t matter who says what when you’re talking about imperfect human beings, but what is said.

    It was a great speech.

    What I just saw and heard is, as far as I’m concerned, one of the most important messages about matters of this world and this life one will ever have heard in one’s life until now. And if anyone cannot or will not look beyond the person speaking, if that is an issue for you, you will be making one of the biggest mistakes of your life ever until now as well.

  7. Mansour

    I read most of the domain blogs, and I must say most if not all are self serving. Andrew you do not need to attack Ted Cruz. After all he is looking out for America’s interest. Let us know your point of view on this subject.

  8. Richard Funden

    He is a nutter! That he ranked second in the polls for candidate for the republican party shows how bad that party has become, if the only real choice was between a huckster and a nutter.

  9. scrivener3

    Whoever controls the root nameservers controls resolution of all top level domains. ICANN could redirect any domain name to a new site or have the domain not resolve.

    There will be tremendous pressure on ICANN to take down sites that contain hate speech or undermine government legitimacy (wikileaks for example).

    If ICANN took offending sites out of the roots, and if enough Internet users found that annoying/distressing, Google would start putting links to the IP addresses as well as the domain name of the site it las linking to. Poof, the end of DNS. Knowledge wants to be free, the Internet reroutes around attempts to bottle knowledge up.

    Ironic that an attempt to exercise political control over DNS could be the end of DNS.

    No one asked these other countries who want “input” into Internet governance to join the net in the first place. France had its own computer network through minitel (you could book a train or find a date – it was sort of Compuserve). International standards committees wrote their own “superior” networking protocol to replace tcp/ip. Even cisco routers had to put the unused protocols on their OS. No one joined their networks.
    Their protociols wwere

  10. John

    I would also point out that linking to the full c-span.org video above is inflammatory to a large segment of the population because of what it contains before he speaks about the “transition.”

    A cleaner and more non-inflammatory or non-bias agitating link would be to the video of the related speech only on his YouTube channel.

  11. Jeff Schneider

    Hello Andrew,

    We all along have considered ICANN control a MAJOR STRATEGIC Instrument that does not need to be Tossed to the Wolves of Capitalism. JAS 9/9/16

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master https://www.UseBiz.com)

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