Russian president Vladimir Putin, while still prime minister of Russia, had openly expressed his preference for the ITU to be the U.N. agency to regulate the Internet.
The poor human rights track records of various authoritarian regimes, as well as their histories of Internet censorship and suppression of dissidents, sparked vigorous opposition from U.S. leaders against movements aimed at international regulation of the Internet.
FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, for example, has been an outspoken opponent of international efforts by Putin and others to disrupt the current multi-stakeholder model of governance over the Internet, which The Daily Caller first reported more than a year ago. (RELATED: FCC commissioner fears Internet takeover)
Both Republicans and Democrats also voted this summer to include various aspects of Internet freedom language in their party platforms. TheDC first reported that the Republican Party was the first to do so.
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved a bicameral and bipartisan resolution to oppose any effort by the U.N. to regulate the Internet – the product of a resolution first introduced by now-outgoing California Republican Rep. Mary Bono Mack in 2011.
While the U.S.’ record on Internet freedom issues, such as censorship and surveillance, has been less than sterling, a recent study by U.S.-based democracy advocacy organization Freedom House that examined conditions for Internet freedom among 47 countries ranked the U.S. second in the world, behind Estonia.
The conference, which began on December 3, 2012, ends Friday.