Department of Commerce--Property Implications of Proposed Transition of U.S. Government Oversight of Key Internet Technical Functions
"The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) proposes to transition its oversight of key Internet technical functions (the IANA functions) and the Internet domain name system to a global multistakeholder community. We addressed whether U.S. Government property will be transferred or otherwise disposed of in connection with the transition in violation of the Property Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article IV). We find it is unlikely that either the domain name system or the authoritative root zone file (the “address book” for the top-level domain) is U.S. Government property under Article IV. We also find the Government may have certain data rights, and has limited intellectual and tangible property, all of which constitute Article IV property, but that property will be retained and not disposed of in connection with the transition. Finally, the Government has a contractual right to continued performance by the entities carrying out the IANA functions and related services. That right, which also constitutes U.S. Government property, would be disposed of if NTIA terminates the agreements rather than allowing them to expire, but NTIA has the requisite authority to dispose of this Government property interest."