Members of the House of Representatives are seeking to use a provision of the Congressional Review Act to block the use of domain name expiration to block access to a domain name.
The bill, which has been referred to the Committee on Rules, says that the act allows Congress to preempt state laws and court decisions that require domain names to be valid for a period of time.
The House bill would extend that expiration period for up to 60 days, and allow states to enact rules requiring domain names that expire within that period to be blocked.
If the legislation passes, it would be the first time the Senate has used the Congressional review act to block a domain from being used for online services.
A separate bill from Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) also seeks to block domains that are not available for a certain period of a domain’s life.
The House bill includes a provision that would extend the domain expiration period to the end of the current year, while the Senate bill would require a two-year extension for domains that expire in 2021.
“This is the only way to keep online privacy at stake, without undermining the ability of consumers to safely protect their personal information and businesses to remain open and responsive,” said McClintocks spokeswoman Laura Kelly.
The provision was added to the House bill in a provision passed by the House Rules Committee last week, and the Senate Judiciary Committee has passed its version.
The issue has already made its way to the Senate.
The Senate passed its own version of the bill last week.