The Democrat-led Senate Foreign Relations Committee has passed
a resolution in support of a multistakeholder modal of Internet governance.
The full Senate it expected to follow suit.
The Republican-controlled House last month approved a
similar resolution, one of the few things Republicans and Democrats can agree
on these days. The White House and the FCC are also solidly for a continued
The resolution does not have the force of law, but instead
indicates the Senate's support of that model.
Both Republicans and Democrats are concerned that at an
upcoming treaty conference in Dubai in December -- the World Conference on
International Telecommunications -- some of the 193 members, led by Russia and
China, will attempt to extend ITU's oversight of international phone traffic to
Internet traffic, as are cable and phone companies, who back the resolutions.
"I applaud the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for
strongly reaffirming America's support for Internet freedom and the
multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance by passing this
resolution," said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski in a statement. "The proposals by some countries to
restrict the free flow of information online would threaten one of the most
powerful engines for global economic growth and the spread of democracy in
human history. I fully support today's vote, which makes clear that the World
Conference on International Telecommunications must embrace the success of the
last two decades of liberalization in telecom regulation as well as the
existing multi-stakeholder model in order to ensure continued investment and
growth of the Internet around the globe."
"We applaud the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's
passage of this important resolution to keep the global Internet free from
government control and to preserve and advance the successful multi-stakeholder
model that governs the Internet today," said National Cable and
Telecommunications Association president Michael Powell. "This resolution sends a strong message
that the flow of information free from government control is vital to
democracy, commerce, education and much more across the globe."
"We are pleased to see action on this important
resolution, and applaud Chairman John Kerry and Ranking Member Richard Lugar
for scheduling today's markup," said US Telecom president Walter