U.S. Congress Opposes United Nations Internet Treaty

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U.S. Congress Opposes United Nations Internet Treaty

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The United States Congress has unanimously voted against a proposed International Telecommunications Union treaty that would see "increased government control over the internet."

It turns out that Google isn't alone in its opposition to U.N. efforts to impose international control over the workings of the internet. The U.S. Congress is also firmly against the idea, and yesterday voted unanimously - and I didn't think those guys could be unanimous about anything - to oppose the effort.

"There is not only bipartisan, but bicameral support underlying this resolution, and there is complete support across the Executive Branch of our government," Democratic Rep. Anna Eshoo said. "In other words, the United States of America is totally unified on this issue of an open structure, a multi-stakeholder approach that has guided the Internet over the last two decades."

"We need to send a strong message to the world that the Internet has thrived under a decentralized, bottom-up, multi-stakeholder governance model," added Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn.

The concern among U.S. legislators and other opponents of the treaty is that placing greater levels of control over the internet in the hands of countries like Iran, China, North Korea and Russia - censorious regimes to whom the free flow of information is a threat, in other words - could lead to a stifling of innovation and free speech elsewhere. And while the current ITU Constitution allows states to "cut off, in accordance with their national law, any private telecommunications which may appear dangerous to the security of the State, or contrary to its laws, to public order, or to decency," as ITU Secretary General Hamadoun Touré explained in June, those blackouts are strictly regional, such as most recently seen in Syria.

The U.N. can't arbitrarily impose its will on the internet and given the very clear opposition of the U.S., which effectively controls the net now, it would seem that the ITU's plan is dead in the water. I'm sure it's not the last we'll hear of it, or of some other plan to democratize digital communications across the international community, but for now, at least, the internet that we know and love is saved once again.

Source: The Hill, Ars Technica

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Only time i am ever going to say it:

Proud to be an American *Salutes*

The us congress wants control of it they dont want to hand control over to china russia and iran, lulz you put the same bill up giving the congress all the power and they would rush to pass it so fast peoples heads will spin.

the UN is a utter complete farce anyway. noone in their right fing mind would give them control over anything, followed a bit by our government.

I'm actually a little stunned. A unanimous vote, across both houses and parties? Is that even possible nowadays?

If you can actually get all of the legislators from both parties to vote against an idea, it must have been so bad an idea that a 5 year old could have seen it.


Cheers America!

Another silly internet control plan foiled... We're safe, until someone comes up with another, inevitably.

I don't want to be pessimistic, but couldn't it be just an American attempt to reduce "control" of chunks of the Net in sensitive countries like Iran and China? I somehow doubt both parties both came to the conclusion that SOPA, PIPA and ACTA are all ridiculous shenanigans. I'm sure there's ulterior motives behind this.

Altruism, this is not.

The thing that gets me is the Unanimous part.

I mean really, when was the last time they agreed on anything?

Wait, they voted unanimously against increased web control?

"...The concern among U.S. legislators and other opponents of the treaty is that placing greater levels of control over the internet in the hands of countries like Iran, China, North Korea and Russia..."

"...the U.S., which effectively controls the net now..."

Aaaaaaahhh.... I see.

Ok, I guess I'll turn my cynical mode off now.

soo...

Who was behind SOPA?

Im sure some wonderful person will shoot me down for that, so ill go with a more generic line:

The Us doesnt exactly have the best hisotry in internet legislation. I guess the UN pulled rank here, and the other guy threw a tantrum.

I like that the Internet isn't tied to a nation, makes it seem like a pocket dimension also:

Viva l'independence!

cricket chirps:
Proud to be an American *Salutes*

Just remember though, the US government was quite happy with the idea of corporate censorship of the internet via SOPA/PIPA allowing anyone to be cut off from it and sued without trial and minimal proof...

Well.....it's times like these where I am proud to be an American. Other times...not so much...but not this time...this time I salute. *Salute*

I get the feeling it's more like "No one decides how to fuck over the internet but US!", than them actually fearing the consequences of internet censorship.

TheRightToArmBears:


Cheers America!

Another silly internet control plan foiled... We're safe, until someone comes up with another, inevitably.

I imagined your lil ducky avatar dancing to that song.

Brought a tear to my eye.

For once they got it right. But that's because they want the control for themselves. Sharing? Ha! Right.

"My precious internet! I will not share you with otherssss!"

or...

"One does not simply share the burden of censoring the internet."

I see a healthy degree of cynicism in this thread.

I doubt many pany believe this result was due to any other reason than the US not wanting to give up any of its existing control of the net.

Me55enger:
soo...

Who was behind SOPA?

Im sure some wonderful person will shoot me down for that, so ill go with a more generic line:

The Us doesnt exactly have the best hisotry in internet legislation. I guess the UN pulled rank here, and the other guy threw a tantrum.

Yeah, I was going to say the same thing. Come on, let's not have goldfish memory here.

Last time I remember the US Congress almost unanimously approving something important, it was the NDAA...

Is anyone really surprised by this? It was obvious from the start that the US would be against it.
Currently, the US has the most power over the internet. If the UN internet treaty was put in action, the US would lose a huge part of it's impact.

A number of American corporations have large sway on the internet of course America doesn't want to hand over the Internets control too someone else

Royas:
I'm actually a little stunned. A unanimous vote, across both houses and parties? Is that even possible nowadays?

*Lights cigar*

I love it when a plan comes together.

fix-the-spade:

cricket chirps:
Proud to be an American *Salutes*

Just remember though, the US government was quite happy with the idea of corporate censorship of the internet via SOPA/PIPA allowing anyone to be cut off from it and sued without trial and minimal proof...

Just wait until we start finding out more about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

This is checks and balances at work, ladies and gentlemen. Our president may be in favor of more direct control over the internet (the better to make his campaign donors in Hollywood happy with), but the president doesn't legally have the power to ratify a treaty. He can help negotiate it, but it's up to congress as to whether or not it goes through. Today, Congress did their job.

Edit: Except even the president was apparently against this one. Must have been /really/ bad, since he was in favor of SOPA and ACTA.

What do you mean the American Congress did something good?

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH THE REAL CONGRESS

I still don't trust you US government but am impressed you can agree on things. Now can you agree to raising taxes for the rich with a scaled tax system not unlike Australia?

And a little respect was won that day...

Still don't trust them in any way, but I do have just a little respect now.

This is a joke right?... They actually did something right? And unanimous? That's... wow... Go you good thang!

American goverment unanimously doing something to save the freedoms of the internets? ...all the while the UN being the bad guys?

...Can't say I saw that one coming.

Corporate interests and influence aside, this is actually very good news.

This feeling...is it Patriotism?

IamLEAM1983:
I don't want to be pessimistic, but couldn't it be just an American attempt to reduce "control" of chunks of the Net in sensitive countries like Iran and China? I somehow doubt both parties both came to the conclusion that SOPA, PIPA and ACTA are all ridiculous shenanigans. I'm sure there's ulterior motives behind this.

Altruism, this is not.

Both parties did already, except in the case of ACTA, which congress had no say in and was agreed to unconstitutionally. Sure it took them time, but they eventually stood against it. Maybe they actually remembered what happened last time and decided they'd be against this one too. That and Russians of course.

Wow... people are jaded. But yay for getting along and agreeing on things! Also, just because the article mentioned that the US controls the internet, that doesn't mean that the government does. They probably meant the various companies in the US private sector. Those companies sure don't want any governments controlling the internet.

Keep this up Congress, and I'll be willing to forget about the fiasco that was SOPA/PIPA. We'll get along just fine...

While its nice to hear, it should be obvious their voting against it not because they dont want to control the internet, but because they want to control the internet... but they dont want to share...

Whatever, still a win in some book.

As an Australian I too am stunned by this... I was expecting someone to oppose this like at least one person does in the Australian parliament (Usually by the name of Abbott...). Doesn't matter if it makes sense and will help the nation and their image if they support the majority opinion; someone opposes it because they can

...well. I haven't used this in a while.

Thank you, Congress, for temporarily doing something right for once.

I know that there's a reason behind their choice other than just being pro-internet (SOPA and PIPA afterall), but still....

THE ENTIRE GOVERNMENT ACTUALLY AGREED ON SOMETHING FOR ONCE!!

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