Congress urges Obama to fight UN Internet regulation


The Obama administration has already announced its strong opposition to such proposals.

The Senate resolution was co-sponsored by Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTensions swirl around Iran as administration to brief Congress Tensions swirl around Iran as administration to brief Congress Ending the Cyprus arms embargo will increase tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean MORE (R-Fla.) and Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillBig Dem names show little interest in Senate Gillibrand, Grassley reintroduce campus sexual assault bill Endorsements? Biden can't count on a flood from the Senate MORE (D-Mo.).

“I am pleased the U.S. Senate declared its unanimous opposition to international efforts to regulate the Internet,” Rubio said in a statement. “Given the impact the Internet has had on commerce and the exercise of basic freedoms, we must proactively work to keep the Internet free and prevent enemies from dictating its future. We cannot stand idly by as countries use this conference and treaty to justify censoring the Internet and blocking the free flow of information among their citizens and the rest of the world.”

McCaskill called the technology sector a " true bright spot in our economy" and warned that international regulations could restrict growth.

"And beyond the economic impacts, I’m not interested in giving oppressive regimes an even greater ability to restrict what their citizens can see, hear, share, and communicate,” she said. 

The proposals could give the ITU more control over cybersecurity, data privacy, technical standards and the Web’s address system. They could also allow foreign, government-owned Internet providers to charge extra for international traffic and allow for more price controls.

The Internet is currently governed under a “multi-stakeholder” approach that gives power to a host of nonprofits, rather than governments.

The resolution urges the administration to "promote a global Internet free from government control and preserve and advance the successful multistakeholder model that governs the Internet today."

Concurrent resolutions do not need to be signed by the president, but they lack the force of law.

Ambassador Terry Kramer, who will lead the U.S. delegation at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai, vowed on Friday that United States will not compromise on any of its core values.

"If there are things that are completely objectionable, that violate our fundamental views about human rights, about free speech, about economic opportunities — if they fundamentally violate it — then we will just say no and absolutely we won't proceed," he said during a press conference. 

—Updated at 4:21 p.m.