Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Congress May Turn Over Internet Regulation To UN

by: Tim Brown - May 28, 2012

The US House of Representatives will vote on a measure this week as to whether or not they will hand over regulation of the internet to the United Nation’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Other nations such as China, Russia, Brazil and India among other UN members are backing a proposal to put the control of internet regulation in the hands of the UN.

This would give the United Nations control over many aspects of the internet, including cybersecurity, data privacy, technical standards and the web address system. Currently the present operation of the internet is operated by various interests and not particularly government.

The Hill reports that Larry Strickling, who heads up the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, said the the measure would impose “top-down regulation where it’s really the governments that are at the table, but the rest of the stakeholders aren’t.”

We do find some ray of hope from the House though that indicates passage of such a measure would face an uphill battle. In April a resolution was introduced by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) in response to the ITU. H.R. 628 states,

“It is the sense of the House of Representatives that if a resolution calling for endorsement of the proposed international code of conduct for information security or a resolution inconsistent with the principles above comes up for a vote in the United Nations General Assembly or other international organization, the Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations or the United States representative to such other international organization should oppose such a resolution.”

According to Govtrack.us the resolution has only a 25% chance of passing in the House. How can this be with a Republican led Congress? It should be getting hefty support. It’s time to put the fire under the feet of our representatives and demand passage of the resolution and not turn over internet control to the United Nations.


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