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House E&C Passes Internet Governance Resolution

The House Energy & Commerce Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution, H. Con. Res. 127, backing a multistakeholder model of Internet governance.

The resolution does not have the force of law, but instead indicates Congress' 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.

The resolution got strong bipartisan support when it was introduced and again in opening statements at the opening of the markup hearing Tuesday (June 19), which concluded quickly on Wednesday with the voice vote.

The bottom line, literally, of the resolution is: "[I]t is the sense of Congress that the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, in consultation with the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and United States Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, 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."

The resolution still has to be passed by the full House, then Senate.