One week after the U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsed a plan by U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) to prevent foreign regulation of the Internet, the bipartisan bill got another boost today with the approval of a key Senate panel.
"Today's vote puts us one step closer to further protecting Missouri jobs and business opportunities," said McCaskill. "I'll continue to fight to ensure our bipartisan bill gets a vote on the Senate floor and that we continue to work across the aisle to encourage business growth and development, and that we're not giving oppressive regimes more tools to silence democratic dissent by their people."
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted today to advance the McCaskill-Rubio measure to the full Senate. The resolution is currently cosponsored by 35 U.S. Senators and it now awaits action by the full Senate. The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed H.Con.Res. 127, the House companion to the McCaskill-Rubio resolution.
Citing the potential impacts on internet freedom and on technology jobs in the U.S., McCaskill and Rubio are leading the Senate effort to make clear that the United States opposes allowing any international body or foreign country to have jurisdiction over internet management or regulation.
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.
Last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wrote to the Senators expressing their support for the legislation stating, "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 support came on the heels of a variety of industry groups including USTelecom and the Software and Information Industry Association, as well as Google, which wrote to the committee urging the Senate to pass the resolution.