He has introduced a bill blocking an Obama proposal to let go of ICANN.
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U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz might be laying low politically, but this fall he's taking the lead on an obscure issue that could affect ongoing federal budget negotiations: Who should control how the Internet is organized?
Cruz is fighting an impending move by the federal government to relinquish oversight of a nonprofit organization that determines the way domain names are organized on the Internet.
It’s an issue on the minds of many conservatives, who charge that giving up that power would allow authoritarian regimes like China and Russia to further censor free speech on the Web.
"Once the government's out of the picture, First Amendment protections go away," Cruz said Wednesday morning at a Senate hearing he chaired.
"Why risk it? The Internet works. It's not broken," he later added. "What is the problem that is trying to be solved here?"
But those advocating for the move toward privatization, a group that includes the Obama administration and a number of technology companies, say that the U.S. ceded de facto control of the Internet decades ago and that such concern is overstated.