US House to ITU: Hands off the Internet

Lawmakers vote unanimously to tell the ITU that the U.S. opposes new regulations

The U.S. House of Representatives voted late Thursday to send a message to the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union that the Internet doesn't need new international regulations. The vote was unanimous: 414-0.

The House resolution calls on U.S. government officials to tell the ITU and other international organizations that it is the "consistent and unequivocal policy of the United States to promote a global Internet free from government control."

The ITU will host a treaty-writing conference, the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), in December in Dubai. U.S. officials expect other countries to push for international Internet traffic taxes and for the ITU to take Internet governance away from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and other organizations.

Some countries may also push for more surveillance of Internet users in the name of fighting spam or fraud, observers say.

Proposals at the ITU and other U.N. agencies "would justify under international law increased government control over the Internet and would reject the current multi-stakeholder model that has enabled the Internet to flourish and under which the private sector, civil society, academia, and individual users play an important role in charting its direction," reads the House resolution, sponsored by Representative Mary Bono Mack, a California Republican.

Bono Mack applauded the House vote.

"In many ways, this is a first-of-its-kind referendum on the future of the Internet," she said in a statement. "For nearly a decade, the United Nations has been angling quietly to become the epicenter of Internet governance."

Secret negotiations leading up to WCIT could be "devastating" to Internet freedom and economic development, she added.

The "unanimous vote sends a clear and unmistakable message: the American people want  to keep the Internet free from government control and prevent Russia, China and other nations from succeeding in giving the U.N. unprecedented power over Web content and infrastructure," she said. "We cannot let this happen."

Several U.S. tech trade groups supported the resolution. The vote "was an important step to underscore for the world that the United States will stand firmly against regulation of the Internet, and strongly for online freedom," Ken Salaets, director of global policy at the Information Technology Information Council, wrote in blog post.

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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?