Rumors Swirl Around Timing of Hearings
Date: Sunday March 24 2002, @06:04PM
Topic: USA Goverment Relations

Rumors are swirling regarding the timing of the probable House and Senate hearings on ICANN. In the ordinary course, given the number of other issues backed up in both houses due to 9/11, it might be hard to schedule hearings before the summer doldrums. That would suggest hearings in Fall, probably too late to influence the renewal of ICANN's MOU with the US Department of Commerce. Holding hearings sooner would be another strong signal that Congress is concerned about the way things are going, and that ICANN is in trouble with the U.S. government.

An article by Maureen Sirhal in the respeced National Journal (alas, not online) entitled "Rising Internet Anxiety" and dated two days ago, states that Senator Conrad Burns plans hearings on ICANN "in April". Trouble is, the scoop is dumped in near the end of the article, making one wonder how reliable it is...and Senator Burns, being a Republican, is in the minority. Thus, in order to have a hearing held, he has to convince the chair of a subcommittee, the ordinary procedure, or of a full committee. For the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, that would be Senator Fritz Hollings, and for the subcommittee on Communications, that's Senator Daniel Inouye. Neither has been particularly active on ICANN matters to date.

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