Congress Passes Resolution on Promotion of an Internet Free From Government Control
The following is the text of a resolution concurrently passed by the U.S. Senate and Congress on September 22, 2012.
S.CON.RES.50 — Whereas given the importance of the Internet to the global economy, it is essential that the Internet remain stable, secure, and free from government control; (Engrossed in Senate [Passed Senate] – ES)
‑SCON 50 ES
S. CON. RES. 50
Whereas given the importance of the Internet to the global economy, it is essential that the Internet remain stable, secure, and free from government control;
Whereas the world deserves the access to knowledge, services, commerce, and communication, the accompanying benefits to economic development, education, and health care, and the informed discussion that is the bedrock of democratic self-government that the Internet provides;
Whereas the structure of Internet governance has profound implications for competition and trade, democratization, free expression, and access to information;
Whereas countries have obligations to protect human rights, which are advanced by online activity as well as offline activity;
Whereas the ability to innovate, develop technical capacity, grasp economic opportunities, and promote freedom of expression online is best realized in cooperation with all stakeholders;
Whereas proposals have been put forward for consideration at the 2012 World Conference on International Telecommunications that would fundamentally alter the governance and operation of the Internet;
Whereas the proposals, in international bodies such as the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development, and the International Telecommunication Union, would attempt to justify increased government control over the Internet and would undermine the current multistakeholder model that has enabled the Internet to flourish and under which the private sector, civil society, academia, and individual users play an important role in charting its direction;
Whereas the proposals would diminish the freedom of expression on the Internet in favor of government control over content;
Whereas the position of the United States Government has been and is to advocate for the flow of information free from government control; and
Whereas this and past Administrations have made a strong commitment to the multistakeholder model of Internet governance and the promotion of the global benefits of the Internet: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, should continue working to implement the position of the United States on Internet governance that clearly articulates the consistent and unequivocal policy of the United States to promote a global Internet free from government control and preserve and advance the successful multistakeholder model that governs the Internet today.
Passed the Senate September 22 (legislative day, September 21), 2012.