On September 14, 2016, the US Senate held a hearing on “Protecting Internet Freedom: Implications of Ending U.S. Oversight of the Internet.” The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) stewardship transition, the final piece of ending US government oversight of the Internet, would benefit brand owners and Top Level Domain (TLD) registry operators, including operators of .Brand TLDs. However, this hearing demonstrated lingering opposition within Congress to the transition. Much of this resistance is based on a misunderstanding regarding what the transition actually entails and its implications for Internet governance. This Legal Update should help separate fact from fiction regarding this important issue.
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