House Members to Study Global Internet Freedom

Three House panels will hold a joint hearing next Tuesday on “Fighting for Internet Freedom: Dubai and Beyond.”  With fresh concerns about international Internet governance proposals after December’s World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai, House Members with seats on the Communications and Technology Subcommittee (Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR)) of the House Energy and Commerce Committee; the Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations Subcommittee (Chairman Chris Smith (R-NJ)) of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; and the Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittee (Chairman Ted Poe (R-TX)) of the House Foreign Affairs Committee will convene to explore this issue further and to consider legislation supporting U.S. policy of a free global Internet.

Last year, the House and Senate passed a concurrent resolution declaring the “sense of Congress that the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, should continue working to implement the position of the United States on Internet governance that clearly articulates the consistent and unequivocal policy of the United States to promote a global Internet free from government control and preserve and advance the successful multistakeholder model that governs the Internet today.”

Notably, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) has also proposed a Global Online Freedom Act that would make it U.S. policy to promote freedom of information and ideas in media and to deter U.S. businesses from cooperating with Internet-restricting countries in aiding online censorship.

          •   Learn more about this hearing.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President Government Relations

Published: February 1, 2013