The Domain Openness Through Continued Oversight Matters Act, or DOTCOM Act, would slow down the process of transitioning control over the Internet’s domain name system (e.g. the .com’s and .net’s) from being U.S.-government run to being run by a non-governmental global “multistakeholder” community. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, or NTIA, the government agency that currently oversees the domain name system, recommended in 2014 that control be privatized. This bill would add congressional oversight as NTIA transitions out of its role, requiring that certain accountability reforms be put in place in the existing governance model before making further changes.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jun 23, 2015.
Domain Openness Through Continued Oversight Matters Act of 2015 or the DOTCOM Act of 2015
Prohibits the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information from permitting the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA's) role in the performance of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions to cease until 30 legislative days after the Assistant Secretary submits to Congress a report that contains: (1) the proposal relating to the transition of the NTIA's stewardship of the IANA functions that was developed in a process convened by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) at the request of the NTIA, and (2) the following required certifications by the Assistant Secretary.
Requires the Assistant Secretary to certify that: (1) such proposal supports and enhances the multistakeholder model of Internet governance, maintains the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet domain name system, meets the needs of global customers and partners of the IANA services, maintains the openness of the Internet, and does not replace the role of the NTIA with a government-led or intergovernmental organization solution; and (2) the required changes to ICANN's bylaws contained in the final report of ICANN's Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability and the changes to ICANN's bylaws required by ICANN's IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group have been adopted.