The Democrats speak more broadly about the Obama administration's support for "the freedom of expression, assembly and association online for people everywhere." During Obama's first term, the State Department has elevated Internet freedom to a high priority in its diplomatic relationships, coming under the umbrella of what the department calls it 21st Century Statecraft initiative. Secretary Hillary Clinton has helped raise the profile of the issue in a series of public speeches on the importance of a free and open Internet.
Both parties cite their support for the current "multi-stakeholder approach" to Internet governance, vowing opposition to any attempt to empower a single international group, such as the United Nations, with greater authority over the Internet. At a December meeting in Dubai, member nations will gather to discuss a proposal that would do just that -- a controversial plan that would vest new authorities over the Internet with the U.N.'s International Telecommunications Union, and has been roundly condemned by the Obama administration and lawmakers from both parties.
Kenneth Corbin is a Washington, D.C.-based writer who covers government and regulatory issues for CIO.com.