President Barack Obama's attempt to globalize control over the Internet faces pressure from Republican congressional leaders.
"I think there needs to be, at least in the short term, a ripcord to pull so that we can fall back to the way things were in case we see some of these worst-case scenarios play out," Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, told the Washington Examiner.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, known as ICANN, has handled oversight of the Internet since the group began operating in 1998 under a U.S. government contract. The administration's plan would transfer control of ICANN to a group of international stakeholders, according to the Voice of America.
The plan, supported by Internet companies like Google and Facebook and service providers like Verizon, must be approved by the U.S. Department of Commerce before it can go ahead.
ICANN would remain a private, not-for-profit organization under the plan, and would still be involved in governing the Internet. But oversight of its operations would be conducted by an advisory group made up of international government representatives, businesses and researchers who could vote to approve any significant changes.