In July of this year, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) filed a Motion to Quash in US District Court of the District of Columbia. ICANN explains that its “arguments were put forth when the victims of terrorism who had successfully won lawsuits against Iran, Syria and North Korea, sought to collect on those civil judgments.” The court order obtained by ICANN is attached here. The appeal by the victims of terrorism against the court order obtained by ICANN was filed on December 12, 2014.
ICANN administers to Domain Name System’s (DNS) root zone under a grant of authority from the US Department of Commerce. Earlier this year, the Commerce Department decided to give control of the DNS root zone.
ICANN’s court filings in support of North Korea, Syria and Iran in terrorism-related proceedings is of particular interest now for three reasons,
- CRE has long worked to ensure continued federal governance of the DNS root zone,
- President Obama has confirmed “that North Korea engaged in” the recent “attack” against Sony, and
- The recently passed federal appropriations bill temporarily prohibits the Commerce Department from relinquishing its authority with “respect to Internet domain name system functions, including responsibility with respect to the authoritative root zone file and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority functions.”
Federal decision makers should give serious consideration to whether they should continue with plans to devolve authority for governing the DNS root zone to ICANN.