House unanimously votes the internet should be free from UN control

Keep your hands off my Internet
Web freedom for all

U.S. lawmakers aren't keen on the United Nations taking control of internet regulation, and they made this known today in a unanimously approved resolution.

In a 397-0 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a Senate resolution that called on the U.S. government to officially oppose U.N. control of the web.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 50 (SCR 50) stated that instead of the U.N., the U.S. should preserve and advance the current "multi-stakeholder" model of governance at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT).

Intended to send a message

The vote was timed with an ongoing WCIT meeting in Dubai.

There, member countries of the U.N. agency International Telecommunications Union (ITU) are looking to hash out who should control the internet.

Lawmakers have consistently named Russia, China and Iran as countries that are looking to fundamentally usurp internet regulation.

"Unfortunately, some countries view the ongoing conference as an opportunity to fundamentally change the current governance model that has allowed the internet to thrive," said U.S. Senator Marco Rubio in a statement.

Bipartisanship on Capitol Hill

Rubio, a Republican from Florida, co-sponsored the bipartisan SCR 50 resolution with Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri).

"As our delegation's work is underway in Dubai," echoed McCaskill, "this vote sends an important signal that Congress is united in the view that the Internet is an vibrant and growing tool in creating jobs and business opportunities, that should be protected."

The unanimous vote by the U.S. House follows a Senate vote in September that was also in full support of the resolution.

Additionally, the White House is in favor of opposing U.N. control of the internet.

"There is not only bipartisan, but bicameral support underlying this resolution, and there is complete support across the Executive Branch of our government," said U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) to The Hill.

"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."

Via The Hill

Matt Swider