Congressman Todd Akin (R-MO) today released a letter he sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regarding an upcoming United Nations conference on the internet. The proposals to be considered at the conference (the World Conference on International Telecommunications) have not been released by the UN, but have been leaked to an internet freedom website. The proposals, from countries like Russia, Iran and China, include a variety of ways to limit freedom on the internet. Congressman Akin, along with 19 other Congressmen, sent a letter to Secretary Clinton calling for her to stand up against these proposals or lead an effort to cancel this conference.
Congressman Akin released the following statement:
"The idea of the U.N. regulating the internet is deeply disturbing and should be opposed in every possible way. My colleagues and I are joining together to send a clear message to the administration that they must not allow U.N. regulation of the internet. The internet has proven to be an amazing benefit to America and the rest of the world over the last few decades. As a nation, we cannot stand idly by as the freedom of the internet comes under assault.
"Our Declaration of Independence speaks of the unalienable rights of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." While our Founders may not have imagined the internet when they wrote those words, the fact is that the internet is one of the most powerful tools of our age to help people around the world have life, liberty and pursue happiness.
"Together we are calling on Secretary Clinton to use all of the influence and power of the United States to prevent the United Nations or authoritarian regimes from increasing their control over the internet. If internet freedom remains under threat from the U.N.'s World Conference on International Telecommunications, we ask that Secretary Clinton form a coalition with other freedom loving countries to put an end to this process and prevent centralized government control over the internet."