US House to ITU: Hands off the Internet

Lawmakers vote unanimously to tell the ITU that the U.S. opposes new regulations

The U.S. House of Representatives voted late Thursday to send a message to the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union that the Internet doesn't need new international regulations. The vote was unanimous: 414-0.

The House resolution calls on U.S. government officials to tell the ITU and other international organizations that it is the "consistent and unequivocal policy of the United States to promote a global Internet free from government control."

The ITU will host a treaty-writing conference, the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), in December in Dubai. U.S. officials expect other countries to push for international Internet traffic taxes and for the ITU to take Internet governance away from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and other organizations.

Some countries may also push for more surveillance of Internet users in the name of fighting spam or fraud, observers say.

Proposals at the ITU and other U.N. agencies "would justify under international law increased government control over the Internet and would reject the current multi-stakeholder model that has enabled the Internet to flourish and under which the private sector, civil society, academia, and individual users play an important role in charting its direction," reads the House resolution, sponsored by Representative Mary Bono Mack, a California Republican.

Bono Mack applauded the House vote.

"In many ways, this is a first-of-its-kind referendum on the future of the Internet," she said in a statement. "For nearly a decade, the United Nations has been angling quietly to become the epicenter of Internet governance."

Secret negotiations leading up to WCIT could be "devastating" to Internet freedom and economic development, she added.

The "unanimous vote sends a clear and unmistakable message: the American people want  to keep the Internet free from government control and prevent Russia, China and other nations from succeeding in giving the U.N. unprecedented power over Web content and infrastructure," she said. "We cannot let this happen."

Several U.S. tech trade groups supported the resolution. The vote "was an important step to underscore for the world that the United States will stand firmly against regulation of the Internet, and strongly for online freedom," Ken Salaets, director of global policy at the Information Technology Information Council, wrote in blog post.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?