US House asks Obama to keep Internet out of UN control

Dec 06 2012, 14:51 IST
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SummaryThe US House of Representatives passed a resolution calling on Obama admin to oppose UN control.

The US House of Representatives has passed a resolution calling on the Obama Administration to oppose UN control of the Internet.

The bipartisan resolution -- already been passed by the Senate - comes as the countries are attending the United Nations conference on telecommunications this week in Dubai.

"The 193-member countries of the United Nations are gathered to consider whether to apply to the Internet a regulatory regime that the International Telecommunications Union created in the 1980s for old-fashioned telephone service," Congressman Greg Walden on the House floor.

Senators Claire McCaskill and Marco Rubio, who had introduced the resolution in the Senate, said this puts Congress on the record staunchly opposing foreign interference with or regulation of the Internet.

"As our delegation's work is underway in Dubai, 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," said McCaskill.

Non-profit, non-governmental entities currently regulate and oversee the Internet, keeping the global network out of reach of any one government or international body.

However, recent proposals - including some by the governments of Russia, China and Iran - would turn some of the most critical Internet functions over to the United Nations, which could negatively affect innovation and dramatically expand the power of foreign countries to limit or censor speech within their borders, the Senators said.

The International Telecommunication Union, the United Nations agency responsible for communication technologies, is currently holding a conference in Dubai.

The conference is tasked with renegotiating the International Telecommunications Regulations, which provide a framework for global telecommunications and have not been amended since being written in 1988.

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