House Subcommittee To Mark Up Global Internet Freedom Bill

Comes in Wake of What is Termed Continuing Threats of International Internet Governance

The House Communications Subcommittee has scheduled a mark-up for next week (April 10 and 11) on a bill that would make global Internet freedom, specifically a 'net free from government control, the law of the land.

The bill contains the same language as a resolution that passed Congress in the last session in advance of the ITU telecom treaty in Dubai, but would have the force of law rather than simply expressing the sense of Congress.

The U.S. wound up not signing on to that treaty, joined by scores of allies, after Internet language was added.

The bill is necessary due to "continued international threats to regulate the Internet," according to the office of parent Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.).

The bill notes that given the Administration's "strong commitment" to the multistakeholder model of Internet governance, and that there have been and likely will be further attempts to alter that model, "it is the policy of the United States to promote a global Internet free from government control and to preserve and advance the successful multistakeholder model that governs the Internet."

It is unclear how much bigger a stick that will be given that there is plenty of room for interpretation and difference of opinion between Democrats and Republicans over what specific government policies would promote rather than undermine Internet freedom.