The House on Wednesday unanimously passed a Senate resolution introduced by Sens. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillPolling analyst: Same Dems who voted for Gorsuch will vote for Kavanaugh Pollster: Kavanaugh will get Dem votes Overnight Health Care: Trump officials explore importing prescription drugs | Key ObamaCare, drug pricing regs under review | GOP looks to blunt attacks on rising premiums | Merck to lower some drug prices MORE (D-Mo.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHillicon Valley: Trump's Russia moves demoralize his team | Congress drops effort to block ZTE deal | Rosenstein warns of foreign influence threat | AT&T's latest 5G plans On The Money: Trump 'ready' for tariffs on all 0B in Chinese goods | Trump digs in on Fed criticism | Lawmakers drop plans to challenge Trump ZTE deal Overnight Defense: White House 'not considering' Ukraine referendum | Pompeo hopeful on plans for Putin visit | Measure to block ZTE deal dropped from defense bill MORE (R-Fla.) that calls on the U.S. government to oppose United Nations control of the Internet.

The 397-0 vote is meant to send a signal to countries meeting at a U.N. conference on telecommunications this week. Participants are meeting to update an international telecom treaty, but critics warn that many countries’ proposals could allow U.N. regulation of the Internet. 

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"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," Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said on the House floor. 

He said countries will also consider whether to "swallow the Internet's non-governmental organizational structure whole and make it part of the United Nations."

"Neither of these are acceptable outcomes and must be strongly opposed by our delegation," Walden added.

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) said both the White House and lawmakers were united against U.N. control of the Internet.

"I think that we are all very, very proud that there is not only bipartisan, but bicameral support underlying this resolution, and there is complete support across the Executive Branch of our government," she said. "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."


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Nonetheless, members said it was appropriate to pass the resolution to show the strength of U.S. opposition to giving the U.N. any role in Internet governance.

"We need to send a strong message to the world that the Internet has thrived under a decentralized, bottom-up, multi-stakeholder governance model," said Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnElection Countdown: Senate, House Dems build cash advantage | 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser | Trump has M in war chest | Republican blasts parents for donating to rival | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders to campaign in Kansas Senate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Lawmakers split over how to expand rural broadband MORE (R-Tenn.).

The World Conference on International Telecommunications is meeting this week in Dubai, and Walden said representatives of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as well as representatives from Congress are attending to "keep an eye" on the proceedings. Walden warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken positively about the prospect of U.N. governance of Internet policy.

The resolution, S.Con.Res. 50, says it is the sense of Congress that the U.S. government 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."

The Senate passed it in September by unanimous consent.