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Bipartisan Leaders of the Committee Introduce Resolution to Preserve and Protect a Global Internet Free from Government Control

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), along with Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), and Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-CA), today introduced a resolution, H.Con.Res 127, to reject the proposed international takeover of the Internet and preserve the current "multi-stakeholder" model of governance. The Communications and Technology Subcommittee will discuss this legislation tomorrow during a hearing on "International Proposals to Regulate the Internet" at 10:15 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Note, this is a change from the originally scheduled location. More information available here.

"In a time of economic uncertainty and turmoil, the Internet remains a job creation engine that fosters innovation, brings the people of the world together in new ways, and drives global discussion of important social matters," said Upton. "The Internet has become this economic and social juggernaut not because governmental actors willed it to be so, but because the government took a step back and let the private sector drive its evolution. International regulatory intrusion into the Internet would have disastrous results not just for the United States, but for people around the world. I appreciate my colleagues on both sides of the aisle working together to send a strong message that we support the multi-stakeholder model."

"This year, we're facing an historic referendum on the future of the Internet," said Bono Mack. "For nearly a decade, the United Nations quietly has been angling to become the epicenter of Internet governance. A vote for my resolution is a vote to keep the Internet free from government control and to prevent Russia, China, India and other nations from succeeding in giving the U.N. unprecedented power over Web content and infrastructure. If this power grab is successful, I'm concerned that the next "Arab Spring' will instead become a "Russian winter,' where free speech is chilled, not encouraged, and the Internet becomes a wasteland of unfilled hopes, dreams and opportunities. We can't let this happen."

"This resolution confirms that Democrats and Republicans both support the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance and a global open Internet," said Waxman. "Both the current and past administrations deserve credit for their efforts to ensure that the Internet remains a tool for the global dissemination of ideas, information, and commerce."

"The Internet has prospered under the multi-stakeholder model absent the heavy hand of government regulation," said Walden. "That model has enabled an Internet that creates jobs, brings a world of information to your fingertips, allows small businesses around the world to have a global reach, drives investment and innovation, and has even started a revolution or two. We should remain committed to the Internet's collaborative governance structure and reject any international efforts to bring the Internet under government control."

"We can all agree that asserting intergovernmental control over the Internet is a serious threat to the free, transparent and open Internet as we know it today," said Eshoo. "This resolution reaffirms our belief and sends a strong message that international control over the Internet will uproot the innovation, openness and transparency enjoyed by nearly 2.3 billion users around the world."

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