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Public Statements

Expressing Sense of Congress on Governance of the Internet

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. ZOE LOFGREN of California. Thank you, Representative Eshoo, and thank you to all who have brought this important bipartisan resolution forward.

I remember, as the Internet was beginning to take off commercially, that we had a discussion here in the government. Again, it was bipartisan, and there was an understanding that the Commerce Department was not going to be able to run the Internet. We did something that was a risk, but it worked out pretty well. We created ICANN, which basically allowed a multistakeholder, nongovernmental organization to do the technology, to assign the names and numbers. They've not been perfect but not half bad.

What is before us today is a threat to what has been, as my colleague Mr. Markey has said, the greatest force in modern times for communication, for growth, for low-barrier entry into innovation--the Internet. Whether it is to tax it or to censor it for political or cultural reasons, we are aware that there are those around the world who wish to burn the Internet. We need to take a stand in this body and with our administration to say ``no'' to that.

Whether the attempts to control the Internet from the top down come from an international body like the International Telecommunication Union or from international trade agreements and treaties--and there have been many threats to the Internet that have been included in our international treaties or even sometimes from our own government--we need to stand up and protect the Internet and the freedom that it embodies.

We know that the multistakeholder approach is critical to the continued robust growth of the Internet. We also know that the transparent, multistakeholder model has made the Internet such a hugely successful global platform for economic growth, human rights, and the free flow of information.

I'm proud to stand with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to say that America is going to stand up for freedom, we're going to stand up for technology, and we're not going to allow anyone, whatever their intentions may be, to threaten the freedom of the Internet to succeed.

I appreciate Mrs. Bono Mack's efforts in this regard, along with Ms. Eshoo's, and the entire committee. I'm proud to be a cosponsor of the measure. I look forward to its resounding success in a vote tomorrow.


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