Ridiculously Stupid: 4 State Attorneys General File Totally Bogus Lawsuit Against Internet Transition
from the make-it-stop dept
Anyway, to the actual lawsuit. It's dumb. It's really dumb. If you live in Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma or Nevada, you should be embarrassed for your Attorneys General. Elect better ones next time, please. First of all, they have no standing whatsoever to file this lawsuit. The IANA/top level domain system is not those states' property. They have no claim here other than "HEY LOOK! POLITICAL FOOTBALL THAT WE CAN GRANDSTAND OVER!" That does not give them standing. The best they can come up with for claiming standing is... uh... "hey, we have some websites." No, really.
Plaintiffs operate multiple websites, including those that use the .gov and .com generic top level domains, to conduct their business and communicate with their citizens.Yeah. That's not enough to get standing here, buckos. Also, in filing a lawsuit they don't allege any actual harms. That's kind of a big no no when filing a lawsuit. Instead, they sorta maybe kinda speculate that maybe possibly there could (sorta, maybe) be some (possible, maybe, not really) harm in the theoretical future. Maybe.
Second, the entire crux of the lawsuit is that the authoritative root zone file and the internet domain name system itself are somehow "property" of the federal government, and that this transition is, in effect, the giving away of government property without an act of Congress, violating the Property Clause of the Constitution. Except, as we just discussed recently, the Government Accountability Office studied this issue earlier this month and came to the conclusion that "nope, it's not property." In case you missed it then:
It is unlikely that either the authoritative root zone file—the public “address book” for the top level of the Internet domain name system—or the Internet domain name system as a whole, is U.S. Government property under Article IV. We did not identify any Government-held copyrights, patents, licenses, or other traditional intellectual property interests in either the root zone file or the domain name system. It also is doubtful that either would be considered property under common law principles, because no entity appears to have a right to their exclusive possession or use.Others have walked through some of the other charges and find them all totally lacking. A judge is set to review this request for an injunction later today, and you never know how any individual judge might rule. So it's entirely possible that this will muck up the timing of the transition, but long term, this filing is not just a joke, but it's an embarrassment and a waste of taxpayer money in those four states.