A federal judge(D) in the Southern District of Texas on Friday denied a last-ditch request for an injunction against the long-awaited shift of oversight of the Internet’s address book from the U.S. Department of Commerce to a non-profit organization.
The denial means the shift should go forward as expected as 12:00 AM Saturday morning.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, has been in charge of the master list of Internet address since 1998, under a contract with the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
That contract ends September 30 at 11:59 PM. At that point, ICANN becomes an autonomous non-profit, accountable to international stakeholders in the Internet community that include a governmental advisory committee, a technical committee, industry committee, internet users and telecommunications experts.
The shift had been opposed by some conservative officials and lawmakers who have described it as America “giving away the Internet.”
On Thursday the attorneys general of Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas and Nevada filed a lawsuit asking a Federal district court to block the transition, alleging it amounts to giving up U.S. government property, among other complaints.
However on Friday the request for a temporary restraining order was denied.
ICANN is based in Los Angeles, although it has offices worldwide. One of its main jobs is to coordinate the Domain Name System that matches Internet address with their actual numerical computer addresses.
U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, said he was pleased the request, which he termed “baseless,” had been denied.
“This decision is another clear sign that efforts from a fringe group to block the IANA transition are misguided and irresponsible. We can now keep our long-standing and public commitment to the global community to keep the internet open and free. It’s time to move forward with the transition.”
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