Joint hearing planned on international Internet regulation

{mosads}The United States is not bound to follow the treaty, which will not go into effect until 2015, but U.S. officials are worried it could curtail the free flow of information around the world.

Supporters of the treaty revisions say they will help governments fight spam and improve cybersecurity.

Walden said he is “very concerned” about the outcome of the Dubai conference.

He said the hearing will examine “what the American policy should be going forward to make sure the Internet is free from legacy regulation and from countries that have a different view about democracy and freedom.”

Walden criticized the Federal Communications Commission’s net-neutrality rules, which he said made the United States seem hypocritical for calling for Internet freedom at the Dubai conference.

The FCC regulations require Internet providers to treat access to all websites equally. Supporters say the rules are essential for ensuring a free and open Internet, but critics consider them an illegal power grab that burdens businesses.

Verizon is suing to overturn the rules, arguing that the FCC overstepped its authority.

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) said on Tuesday she will introduce a bill clarifying the FCC’s authority to enforce net neutrality if the court strikes down the rules.

But Walden vowed to block Eshoo’s effort.

“I don’t think [a net-neutrality bill] will move out of committee — not on my watch,” Walden said.

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