Today in the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the U.S. Congress, a unanimous resolution was passed opposing United Nations control of the Internet.
As you recall, the same bill passed the Senate, put forth by Sen. Marco Rubio. On this, our political parties have managed to agree. At stake is an international treaty passed in 1988 by the ITU, or International Telecommunication Union, an agency of the UN.
The telecommunications treaty is hopelessly out of date. However, the U.S. along with allied nations, has been pushing for conscribement of the new ITU agreement so that it impact only telecom firms and not Internet companies.
Early efforts in that direction have been rebuffed.
As quoted by The Hill, here’s Oregon’s Senator Greg Walden: “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,” and that gathered parties in Dubai may “swallow the Internet’s non-governmental organizational structure whole and make it part of the United Nations,” of which the outcome would be “[not] acceptable outcomes and must be strongly opposed by our delegation.”
We’ll see how far a House resolution manages to move a 150 nation entmoot.
At the same time, that both chambers of our Congress have managed to come together on the issue is something to be applauded. And, it certainly does strengthen our large envoy to the meeting: we are united behind you.
UN control of the Internet is not likely to be enacted in the United States, however it could be used as an authority chit in repressive countries as license to oppress. More as it comes.
Top Image Credit: ttarasiuk