The IANA transition, and the i2Coalition, have been recognized by DC-based political publication The Hill as one of the top lobbying victories of 2016. ICANN, the Information Technology Industry Council, the Internet Association, and the Domain Name Association were also counted among winners in the lobbying effort.
The IANA transition moved forward in October as the contract between ICANN and the U.S. Department of Commerce expired, effectively handing over IANA functions to ICANN.
The somewhat unexpected politicization and legal challenge of the IANA transition from four State Attorneys General were ultimately defeated at the end of September, but not before creating the need for concerted lobbying effort to combat the suggestion that in doing so “the government gave away the internet.” The i2Coalition expressed concern that preventing the transition would contribute to fragmentation of the internet.
“Contrary to popular belief, lobbying is not inherently bad. As with most things, influence can be used for positive and negative reasons. The purest goal of a lobbyist is to give voice to a person or group who doesn’t have the time or ability to speak for themselves. In the case of the Internet’s infrastructure, we work hard to provide that collective voice for our members,” the i2Coalition said in a blog post. “We are proud to be the voice of our members, whom have helped us amplify and wield that voice. The growing effectiveness of that voice is critical, as we gear up to play a vital role in protecting and preserving the industry in 2017 and beyond.”
The i2Coalition, in an article on the WHIR, called the transition “the biggest technology policy win since the Internet community banded together to defeat PIPA/SOPA back in 2012.”
The Hill also listed the Consumer Review Freedom Act, which protects consumers against retaliation for negative reviews they write online, as one of the top lobbying victories of the year.