September 19, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As global negotiators prepare to meet in December at the World Conference on International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) is pressing the U.S. and other governments to stand against efforts to expand regulatory oversight of the Internet. 

The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations today unanimously approved a resolution rejecting any shift in regulatory control, sending the measure to the full Senate for debate and a vote.

Proposals of concern at the ITU range from establishment of an “information security” regime that could be used to justify greater Internet censorship and tracking, the regulation of rates for the exchange of Internet traffic that could be used by countries for competitive advantage, and making ITU standards mandatory for all Member States -- a move that clearly would undermine the voluntary, consensus-based standards system that has helped to fuel technology innovation around the globe.

ITI Director of Government Relations Vince Jesaitis issued this statement on the committee vote:

“ITI applauds the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for voting favorably to send S.Con.Res. 50 to the full Senate, and we thank Senators McCaskill and Rubio for their leadership to protect internet freedom.  This freedom is being challenged by countries looking to give the United Nations, and one of its entities the International Telecommunication Union, more control over structure of the internet at an upcoming conference in December.  Efforts by these few countries, with less than stellar track records of promoting free speech and expression on the internet, threaten the de-centralized, multi-stakeholder model that has resulted in the growth and innovation of today's internet ecosystem. 

“Today's vote reinforces the view held by the U.S. government, America's high-tech industry, and our public and private partners around the globe that a top-down, international regulatory structure threatens innovation, e-commerce, and freedom of expression online.  We urge the full Senate to now pass this resolution, and speak out with a unified, bipartisan voice in support of keeping the internet open and free of government or political interference.”

 

Media contact:  Meghan Fletcher, mfletcher@itic.org, (202) 445-9242

 

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About ITI

The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) is the premier advocacy and policy organization for the world’s leading innovation companies.  ITI navigates the constantly changing relationships between policymakers, companies, and non-governmental organizations, providing creative solutions that advance the development and use of technology around the world.  We develop first-rate advocacy strategies and market-specific approaches.  And we deliver results.  Visit itic.org to learn more.