Why We Should Keep the UN's Hands Off the Internet
WASHINGTON, DC – Each click of the mouse Americans make while shopping, booking travel with family, or any of the myriad other activities handled online this holiday season is a reminder of how an Internet free from government regulation has made our lives easier and more productive. American consumers and innovators know the Internet is about more than just funny cat videos and Cyber Monday deals. The Internet has transformed the world since its inception, driving economic and social liberty here and across the globe. What many do not realize is that liberty could be under siege in Dubai next week as the 193 countries that comprise the United Nations’ International Telecommunications Union (ITU) will be gathering to update the International Telecommunications Regulations treaty. There is a growing effort by many in the international community who wish to control how the Internet is managed.
The House, Senate, and White House have all come together in rejecting calls for a global government takeover of the Internet and to preserve the current “multi-stakeholder” model of governance. American business groups also support the current structure and have urged rejection of the proposed model.
The Hill recently reported:
A lot is at stake in the upcoming negotiations: Observers say some of the proposals put forward by countries for the treaty conference could threaten Internet freedom, encourage online censorship and expand a United Nations agency’s authority over the Internet.
With the Internet continuing to grow at an astounding rate, spurring innovation, job creation and freedom around the planet, allowing countries such as Russia and China to impose a new global regulatory regime in charge of web content and infrastructure would fundamentally change the Internet as we know it.
The Energy and Commerce Committee has been monitoring the situation closely. The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a hearing on May 31, 2012, on the proposed takeover. On August 2, 2012, the House unanimously approved H. Con Res 127, a bipartisan resolution authored by Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), to reject the international proposals. Similar legislation authored by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), passed the Senate in September. The Internet is a global beacon of freedom and must be protected and allowed to flourish free from UN interference.