On the eve of a hearing last week exploring proposals by some foreign governments to establish international governance of the Internet, key House leaders on both sides of the aisle introduced a resolution opposing a United Nations (UN) regulatory regime over the Web.
Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) introduced H.Con.Res. 127 that urges the Executive Branch to advance “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.” It warns of proposals to be considered at this year’s World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) “that would fundamentally alter the governance and operation of the Internet.” Notably, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Ranking Member Henry Waxman (D-CA), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), and Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-CA) also joined the resolution as co-sponsors.
FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell spoke to House members at last week’s hearing about this move by foreign governments to bring the Internet under the thumb of the UN. China,Russia,India,Iran, andSaudi Arabiahave been noted as being among those nations desiring to empower the UN’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) as the regulator of the global online world. These ITU proposals are likely to be considered at the WCIT inDubai, UAE, in December.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President Government Relations