The House Communications Subcommittee has scheduled a
mark-up for April 10 and 11 on a bill that would make global Internet freedom,
specifically an Internet free from government control, the law of the land.
The bill contains the same language as a resolution that
passed Congress in the last session in advance of the ITU telecom treaty in
Dubai, but would have the force of law rather than simply expressing the sense
U.S. wound up not signing on to that treaty, joined by scores of allies,
after Internet language was added.
The bill is necessary due to "continued international
threats to regulate the Internet," according to the office of parent
Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.).
The bill says that given the Administration's "strong
commitment" to the multistakeholder model of Internet governance, and
given that there have been and likely will be further attempts to alter that
model, "it is the policy of the United States to promote a global Internet
free from government control and to preserve and advance the successful
multistakeholder model that governs the Internet."
It is unclear how much bigger a stick that will
be given that there is plenty of room for interpretation and difference of
opinion between Democrats and Republicans over what specific government
policies would promote rather than undermine Internet freedom.