Senate committee opposes UN Internet regulation

Josh Peterson | Tech Editor

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved a resolution to oppose an international effort to give the UN more control over the Internet.

193 countries are set to meet in Dubai in December to renegotiate an international telecommunications treaty. U.S. officials and lawmakers are worried that the renegotiation of the treaty would result in an upending of the current voluntary multistakeholder model of Internet governance.

U.S. officials have said that such a push toward international governance of the Internet, which is being lead by Russia, is merely political cover to defend its internal crack downs on dissent. Unfortunately for the U.S., its own track record is far from spotless.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, along with bill co-sponsor Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, introduced a measure in June opposing the U.N. effort.

The measure remained untouched as senators went on recess in August.

Rubio had also introduced an amendment to the now-failed Cybersecurity Act of 2012 that was similar in intent and scope.

Both Republican and Democratic Party platforms, however, recently approved at their respective conventions, now include some type of Internet freedom language.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approval of Rubio and McCaskill’s bill follows the House’s approval of a similar resolution during the summer.

“I just want to be clear that America is on record as being in favor of Internet freedom and that we don’t want to see any internationally recognized right for government interference on the Internet and the free flow of information on the Internet,” said Rubio in a statement.

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