December 06, 2012, 6:03 AM — The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution urging the U.S. government not to give the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union (ITU) control over the Internet.
The resolution was adopted by the House on Wednesday with a 397 - 0 vote, according to the House's website. The bill, passed by the U.S. Senate in September, emphasizes the importance of the Internet to the global economy, saying that "it is essential that the Internet remain stable, secure, and free from government control."
By adopting the resolution the House intends to send a clear message to the ITU not to increase government control over the Internet during the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai. Proposals by the U.N. body to increase control over the Internet "would undermine" the way the Internet is organized right now "that has enabled the Internet to flourish," the adopted bill reads.
It is the second time the House has urged President Barack Obama's administration to keep promoting a global Internet free from government control. In June, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed another resolution telling the ITU to keep its hands of the Internet.
The U.S. government is not the only government worried about the ITU plans. The European Commission said last Friday it was opposed to increasing the ITU's powers over the Internet during the conference, following a vote by the E.U. Parliament loudly calling for negotiators to block such attempts.
While companies, organizations and governments are worried the ITU will increase its powers at conference, the ITU said the worried parties don't understand what the WCIT meeting can decide on. The conference cannot grant the ITU regulatory powers over the Internet, the organization emphasized on Friday, adding that "it seems the message is simply not getting through."
The ITU's protests were supported by Harvard Law Professor Jack Goldsmith, who tried to debunk what he called pre-WCIT "hysteria" in a detailed blog post.
The WCIT conference started on Monday and will end on Dec. 14.