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Public Statements

The United Nations is Trying to Take Over the Internet

Press Release

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

To be more exact, there is a movement inside the United Nations (UN) to seize control of the Internet. Nations hostile to freedom of speech and expression, such as Russia and China, are leading the charge to control the Internet.

The genesis of the Internet traces to a 1969 Department of Defense project called ARPANET (sorry Al Gore, you really didn't invent the Internet). By the 1990s, the Internet as we know it was born. Given the rapidly expanding commercial and private applications, the responsibility for its management shifted out of the Pentagon. Since 1998, technical management of the Internet has been handled by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a California non-profit corporation.

While the Internet has led to numerous economic and social benefits around the world, many nations fear the information and freedoms found online. As such, there is an effort to manipulate the International Telecommunications Union--a treaty originally created in 1865 to address telegraph service--to provide the United Nations jurisdiction over the Internet. The showdown over whether the UN will seize control will happen at the December 2012 World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai.

I am absolutely opposed to this effort. International proposals to regulate the Internet would have far-reaching negative impacts on not only privacy, commerce and free speech, but also on international human rights and religious freedom.

Because I am adamantly opposed to ceding any regulatory authority to the UN, I co-sponsored H. Con. Res. 127, a resolution expressing the sense of Congress that the current governance model should be preserved. On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, of which I am a member, unanimously passed the resolution out of Committee, and it is on its way to the House Floor. Ultimately, the Obama Administration must work quickly and diligently to stop the UN from taking this outrageous step. Hopefully, encouraged by the House, it will.


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