House Unanimously Opposes UN Takeover Of The InternetBy: Zach Walton - December 6, 2012
Politics are messy. It’s hard to get any two parties to agree on something, and it’s still full of vitriol and mudslinging when they do. That’s why it’s so refreshing to see lawmakers agree on something for once, even if it might not accomplish much.
On Wednesday, the House unanimously passed a Senate resolution that calls for the US to oppose any proposals that would hand over control of the Internet to the United Nations. The resolution, introduced earlier this year by Sen. Claire McCaskill and Marco Rubin, is meant to send a strong signal to the ITU delegates meeting this week to discuss whether or not control of the Internet should be handed over to the UN.
The resolution in question is only three pages long, but it’s powerful in its prose. The opening points to how important the Internet is to a global economy, free speech, access to knowledge, protection of human rights and other worthwhile causes. It’s for these reasons that the US supports the “current multistakeholder model that has enabled the Internet to flourish.”
The representatives speaking on the House floor on Wednesday echoed the resolution with Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee saying, “We need to send a strong message to the world that the Internet has thrived under a decentralized, bottom-up, multi-stakeholder governance model.”
Rep. Anna Eshoo of California marveled at the bipartisan support of the resolution, and added that the Obama administration also backs the resolution.
“I think that we are all very, very proud that there is not only bipartisan, but bicameral support underlying this resolution, and there is complete support across the Executive Branch of our government. In other words, the United States of America is totally unified on this issue of an open structure, a multi-stakeholder approach that has guided the Internet over the last two decades.”
Despite the resolution, countries from around the world will be campaigning for a UN takeover of the Internet for the next week. The US delegates at WCIT in Dubai are fighting back, and are currently confident that the ITU won’t pass any resolutions that will affecting the sovereignty of the Internet.[h/t: The Hill]