Lawmakers to again push Internet freedom resolution

A subcommittee wants to push an official policy opposing governmental control of the Internet

U.S. lawmakers want to make it clear that they're against a takeover of the Internet by the U.N.'s International Telecommunication Union and member governments.

In 2012, Congress passed resolutions opposing proposals at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) to allow the ITU to regulate the Internet, but a House of Representatives subcommittee will debate a new resolution essentially saying the same thing during a hearing next week.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee's communications subcommittee will debate a bill to make the language in 2012's resolutions official U.S. government policy during a hearing starting on Wednesday and continuing Thursday. If passed, the bill would make it official U.S. government policy to "promote a global Internet free from government control and to preserve and advance the successful multistakeholder model that governs the Internet," according to a draft bill released by the subcommittee.

The draft bill takes aim at the ITU, which convened WCIT in December. During the meeting, several countries pushed for the ITU to take over governance of the Internet and for resolutions that critics said would allow widespread censorship of Web content.

"If Congress sits idly by, attempts to drag the Internet within the ambit of international regulatory bodies just might succeed," the subcommittee's staff wrote in a memo about the draft bill. WCIT is "likely the start, not end, of international efforts to regulate the Internet."

The current model of Internet governance, with multiple groups involved, has worked, the committee's staff added.

"Governments' hands-off approach has enabled the Internet to grow at an astonishing pace and become perhaps the most powerful engine of social and economic freedom and job creation the world has ever known," staffers wrote. The current multi-stakeholder governance model "allows the Internet to evolve quickly, to meet the diverse needs of users around the world, and to keep governmental or non-governmental actors from controlling the design and operation of the network or the content it carries."

The Telecommunications Industry Association, a trade group representing manufacturers and suppliers of telecom equipment, praised the subcommittee for again pushing for the Internet policy.

"Passage of this legislation will confirm that the United States can speak with an even stronger voice against any efforts to place Internet governance under the control of a multi-national body," the group said in a statement.

 

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

Tags U.S. House of RepresentativeslegislationgovernmentInternational Telecommunication Unioninternet

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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?