As a followup to a previous story about congressional hearings regarding a proposal to turn over control of the internet to the United Nations International Telecommunications Union, we are happy to report that extensive public pressure has ensured that there remains a bipartisan consensus against allowing this transfer of power over the Internet.
“There’s a strong, bipartisan consensus within the (US) administration and Congress that we must resist efforts from some countries to impose a top-down governance of the Internet,” Representative Henry Waxman told the hearing.
Congresswoman Doris Matsui added that “any international authority over the Internet is troublesome, particularly if that effort is being led by countries where censorship is the norm.”
A top State Department official, in prepared remarks, reaffirmed the opposition of the Obama administration to UN governance of the Internet.
“In all bilateral encounters and multilateral meetings, the United States consistently opposes the extension of intergovernmental controls over the Internet,” said Philip Verveer, deputy assistant secretary of state and coordinator for IT policy, saying this would lead to “very bad outcomes.”
“It inevitably would diminish the dynamism of the Internet,” he said.
Verveer told lawmakers that UN control would possibly “aid in censorship and repression” in some countries.
“Father of the Internet”, Google’s Vint Cerf, said Thursday that proposals to bring the Internet under United Nations’ control “holds profound — and I believe potentially hazardous — implications for the future of the Internet and all of its users”.
The ITU is scheduled to have their annual meeting in December where Russia, China, and other repressive countries will continue to press for this transfer “on behalf of developing countries”.