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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

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.

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?