OVERNIGHT TECH: House panel poised to approve resolution against Internet regulation

Proposals to give the U.N.’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) more control over the governance of the Internet could come up at a conference in Dubai in December. 

{mosads}The proposals, backed by China, Russia and other U.N. members, would give the international body more control over cybersecurity, data privacy, technical standards and the Web’s address system. They would also allow foreign, government-owned Internet providers to charge extra for international traffic and allow for more price controls.

Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) urged lawmakers to adopt the resolution to protect a “global open Internet,” and Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) said the resolution would send a “clear, bipartisan message affirming that we must maintain the current multi-stakeholder, decentralized approach to Internet governance.”

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) urged lawmakers to approve the measure and “unite in opposition to proposals that threaten the innovation, openness and transparency enjoyed by Internet users around the world.” 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced its support for the Bono Mack resolution on Tuesday.

In a letter to members of the Energy and Commerce Committee, the Chamber said it is “deeply concerned” by international proposals to regulate the Internet and that it “strongly supports” the resolution. 

But a representative of the International Telecommunications Union told Talking Points Memo on Tuesday that concerns about the agency taking over the Internet are overblown.

“I’d be surprised if you could find anything that would support these sorts of allegations,” Sarah Parkes, the ITU’s chief of media relations and public information, told the news site in a phone interview. “Internet governance is not an issue at this conference. Some of it will concern things like exchange, routing and roaming rates.”

Reid looks to iron out cybersecurity bill on floor: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-Nev.) said Tuesday that differences over cybersecurity legislation will be worked out on the floor.

“I think the only way we’re going to iron out the differences on cybersecurity is bring it to the floor,” Reid said during a press conference. He reiterated his intent to bring the legislation to a vote in July.

Reid has endorsed a bill from Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) that would set mandatory security standards for critical infrastructure systems. Supporters of the standards say they are necessary to prevent a catastrophic cyberattack, but critics, led by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), say the standards would impose burdensome regulations on businesses.

Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) are working on a compromise proposal that would pressure, but not force, critical infrastructure to meet government standards.

The House passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) in April. The bill would encourage companies to share information about cyber attacks, but lacks any security mandates.

House appropriators to battle over FCC disclosure rule: The House Appropriations Committee will markup up a funding bill on Wednesday morning that includes a provision to block the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) political ad rule.

The regulation would require television broadcasters to post information about political advertisements online. 

Democrats plan to offer an amendment that would strip the language from the bill and allow the FCC to move ahead with its rule. Democrats argue the FCC’s rule promotes transparency about political spending, but Republicans say the regulation unfairly burdens broadcasters.


Snowe and Warner call for cybersecurity compromise 

Report: US, Israel designed Flame computer virus against Iran 

Schumer questions Apple, Google about use of ‘spy planes’ 

EU moves against Universal-EMI deal 

Lawmakers look to save Microsoft’s ‘Do Not Track’ default setting 

—Alexander Bolton contributed

Tags Harry Reid John McCain Sheldon Whitehouse Susan Collins

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