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Rubio Calls On Journalists To Stand with Blocked Blogger

Cuban American Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called on journalists everywhere Thursday to condemn Cuba's blocking of the just-launched news site of Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez, also using that call to make a point about governments and Internet governance in general.

“I recognize it’s not the role of government officials to tell the press how to do their jobs, but I do believe it’s the responsibility of Yoani’s fellow journalists everywhere to stand in solidarity with her as the Castro government blocks her from doing her job and help her shine a light on the regime’s repression, its failures and the Cuban people’s aspirations for freedom," he said.

Access inside Cuba had reportedly been blockaded, though access elsewhere appeared to be unimpeded.

Rubio Thursday also called for hearings on the planned hand-off of U.S. oversight of Internet domain naming functions to a global multistakeholder model, concerned about foreign entities assuming control. He appeared to use the blogger blocking to put an exclamation point on that.

“This is also a reminder about the dangers of potentially turning over governance of the Internet to any entity that gives any influence whatsoever to regimes and governments that view the Internet as a threat to their power," he said.

Republicans generally have been concerned about the domain name hand-off, though so have some Democrats, including the 17 who voted Thursday for a bill that would require a government study of the hand-off before it occurs.