Committee Unanimously Approves Legislation to Advance Internet Freedom
WASHINGTON, DC – The Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), today unanimously approved bipartisan legislation to affirm the policy of the United States regarding Internet governance. The legislation (H.R. 1580), which was approved by voice vote, will promote a global Internet managed under the current multi-stakeholder governance model. Last Congress, a similar measure unanimously passed the House and Senate. In light of continued international efforts to regulate the Internet, members voted today to make it official U.S policy rather than merely a sense of the Congress.
“Last Congress, both chambers passed a resolution directing our delegation at the World Conference on International Telecommunications ‘to promote a global Internet free from government control.’ That resolution helped unite the United States and more than 50 other countries in opposing treaty proposals that would subject the Internet to regulation at the hands of a United Nations agency and facilitate Internet censorship by foreign governments. Such threats unfortunately continue to grow,” said Chairman Upton. “This is an important step in showing our nation’s resolve and it will send an important signal to the international community.”
“Under the multi-stakeholder governance model, non-regulatory institutions manage and operate the Internet by developing best practices with public and private sector input. Governments’ hands-off approach has enabled the Internet to grow at an astonishing pace and become perhaps the most powerful engine of social and economic freedom and job creation the world has ever known,” added Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR).
Walden concluded, “By elevating this language from a resolution to U.S. policy, this bill will show our country’s resolve to oppose efforts by authoritarian regimes to subvert the Internet for their own purposes, and I hope to encourage other nations to join our cause.”