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Public Statements

Expressing Sense of Congress on Governance of the Internet

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. DOYLE. Mr. Speaker, I want to add my support for this important resolution to safeguard the Internet from government control.

I'd like to thank my friend and colleague, Mary Bono Mack, and my other colleagues from the Energy and Commerce Committee for introducing this measure, and I was delighted to become an original cosponsor.

This bipartisan resolution sends a clear message to the United Nations. It tells the International Telecommunication Union, which is the U.N. arm handling telecommunications issues, not to adopt regulations that would make it easier for governments to exercise tracking, surveillance, or censorship online.

The Internet has developed into the revolutionary medium it is today because decisions over the structure of the Internet have been made by nongovernmental, expert organizations. These groups invite the participation of a number of stakeholders from academia, the private sector, public interests, and other experts, and they've done a good job of avoiding a lot of the political interference.

At a time when some governments have actively been blocking users from accessing certain Web sites online, I am glad to see my colleagues unite against such repressive actions and in support of Internet freedom. Opposition to Internet censorship has always been a very bipartisan issue. I want to make that clear because sometimes this issue gets confused with other policy issues like net neutrality. Some of my colleagues have argued that net neutrality supporters somehow favor Internet censorship. I believe that users should be able to surf the Internet however they want to without being blocked from certain Web sites or services, which is what net neutrality is all about as well, so I think opposing censorship and favoring net neutrality go hand in hand.

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to see this resolution move forward in a bipartisan fashion. I urge my colleagues to support it.

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