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Cruz: Obama Proposal Puts Internet Freedom in Hands of Russia, China

Sen. Ted Cruz is calling out the Obama administration for its plan to “give away control of the internet to foreign countries.”

President Barack Obama’s administration is working to hand over management of names and IP addresses to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a global stakeholder group that includes countries like Russia, Iran and China — who don’t recognize the U.S.’s First Amendment.

In a video out today, obtained by TheBlaze, the Texas Republican and former 2016 hopeful explains the stakes.

“From the very first days of the internet, the American government has maintained domain names and ensured equal access to everyone with no censorship whatsoever,” Cruz says in the video. “Obama wants to give that power away.”

That move poses a “great threat” to national security, Cruz said. Starting on the transfer date of Sept. 30, ICANN control could allow foreign governments to prohibit speech that they don’t agree with, he added.

Cruz has added an amendment to the Senate’s Highway Bill that would require an up-or-down vote on the administration’s plan to give ICANN control over names and numbers. And Cruz’s Protecting Internet Freedom Act, proposed with Republican Rep. Sean Duffy (Wis.), would prevent the transfer of authority to the global group.

Supporters of the president’s plan argue that it’s not a big deal and that the changes are mostly logistical.

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