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Expressing the Sense of the Congress Regarding Oversight of the Internet Coporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H. Con. Res. 268, regarding oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. As we have been discussing here today, the foundational structure of the Internet is under attack. But this attack is not from cyber terrorists, or high school kids run amok. Rather this attack comes from people who would like to impose the heavy hand of government on a system that is the most powerful example of freedom we may have ever seen.

How powerful? Here are a few statistics: More than 1 billion users worldwide; more than half a trillion annual commercial transactions; more than a trillion dollars in private investment; the largest source of news reporting in the world; and the largest communications backbone in the world.

But this amazingly powerful engine of commerce and freedom is being attacked as not inclusive enough for the rest of the world.

These critics want to replace today's simple system with three new quasi-governmental bodies to oversee the Internet and related public policy issues. Ultimately, these bodies would rule on freedom of speech, privacy, e-commerce, spam, cyber-security, and cyber-crime. They would take the positions of China, Iran and Syria into account when establishing standards for free speech. They would listen to Cuba on questions of eCommerce. They would listen to Congo on questions of cyber-crime.

There are those who have characterized this debate as being the U.S. vs. the world. But in fact, this debate is about freedom from government vs. government intervention.

I think the U.S. has shown great restraint in supporting an ICANN whose functions are limited to just the most technical management functions.

I urge my colleagues to join with me in sending a message to the world that the Internet needs no U.N. ``Governance''. Freedom on the Internet needs a light touch, not a heavy hand. Support H. Con. Res. 268 and support internet freedom from big government.


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