Opposition to U.N. Internet regulation languishes in Senate
The House unanimously approved a resolution Thursday urging the Obama administration to oppose efforts to give the U.N. the ability to control the Internet.
Similar opposition in the Senate is currently languishing, however, as Congress is now on recess through the month of August.
Countries are gearing up for an international U.N. telecommunications conference in Dubai in December where they will renegotiate a telecommunications treaty that would have considerable impact on the Internet.
The Obama administration has been working to build an international coalition to oppose efforts to upend the current voluntary multi-stakeholder process that loosely governs the Internet.
Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio had introduced an amendment to the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 opposing efforts of countries within the U.N. to regulate the Internet.
The amendment — similar to a resolution he introduced at the end of June — stated, “It is the sense of Congress that the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, should continue working to implement the position of the United States on Internet governance that clearly articulates the consistent and unequivocal policy of the United States to promote a global Internet free from government control and to preserve and advance the successful multistakeholder model that governs the Internet today.”
He is currently joined by 32 co-sponsors on the resolution.
The cybersecurity bill was defeated Thursday due to concerns over the regulatory impact it would have on companies in the private sector that make up the nation’s critical infrastructure, which includes power and utilities companies. There is a possibility that Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid could revive efforts to pas the bill in September.
Currently, Rubio’s original bill has yet to be taken up for consideration by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The House resolution — originally introduced by California Republican Rep. Mary Bono Mack — urges the Obama administration to “promote a global Internet free from government control and preserve and advance the successful multistakeholder model that governs the Internet today.”