U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill's bipartisan fight to prevent the United Nations, or any other foreign entity, from regulating the Internet got a boost this week when the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced its strong support for her and Senator Marco Rubio's (R-Fla.) plan. The Rubio-McCaskill legislation is scheduled for consideration in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee next week.
"It's clear that the U.S. business community isn't interested in outsourcing the jobs and economic opportunities that come with an open and free internet to international organizations and foreign countries," McCaskill said. "This bill is good for everyone from Missouri's employers, to those living under dangerous regimes who rely on a free internet to fight for reforms-and we need to do whatever it takes."
"The Chamber believes it is important to demonstrate the strong bipartisan consensus within the U.S. government and among U.S. Stakeholders to preserve and advance the multistakeholder process responsible for today's thriving Internet," the Chamber's letter of support reads.
Non-profit, non-governmental entities currently regulate and oversee the Internet, keeping the global network out of reach of any one government or international body. However, recent proposals-including some by the governments of Russia, China, and Iran-would turn some of the most critical Internet functions over to the United Nations, which could negatively affect innovation and dramatically expand the power of foreign countries to limit or censor speech within their borders.
The Chamber's support comes on the heels of a variety of industry groups including USTelecom and the Software and Information Industry Association.