Congressmen Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Michael McCaul (R-TX), Co-Chairs of the House Cybersecurity Caucus, commended the firm stance taken by the United States this week in opposition to a telecommunications treaty being negotiated at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai that would boost efforts to stifle Internet freedom around the world.
"It appears that the telecom treaty considered in Dubai would result in a significant setback for anyone who believes free expression is a universal right," said Langevin and McCaul. "We commend Ambassador Verveer, Ambassador Kramer, and the American delegation in Dubai for making clear that the United States will not ratify this treaty and we urge our diplomats to continue to do their utmost to defend a free and open Internet. Strong cybersecurity practices have absolutely nothing to do with restricting Internet access.
"These debates are far from over and, as a nation founded on the principle of free speech, we have a responsibility to fight for the free dissemination of information on the web."
Earlier this year, Langevin and McCaul introduced legislation to send a bipartisan message that the United States must oppose any U.N. resolution that would allow regulation of the Internet. The bill, H. Con. Res. 114, was drafted in response to efforts led by China and Russia to have the U.N. give license to authoritarian governments to continue censoring the Internet.
Reps. Langevin and McCaul served as co-chairs of the Center for Strategic and International Studies' (CSIS) Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency which presented cybersecurity recommendations to President Obama just before he took office.