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Congress to U.N.: Don't even think about Internet regulations

In rare example of election year bipartisanship, U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passes a resolution today reaffirming commitment to a "global Internet free from government control."

Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.
Donna Tam

The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution today to send a strong message to a United Nations body that's meeting this week to consider new Internet regulations.

The House resolution specifically reaffirms the U.S. commitment to a "global Internet free from government control."

The International Telecommunication Union, a U.N. organization, is meeting in Dubai to update telecommunications regulations, and some have warned that this could lead to a U.N. takeover of the Internet.

The summit is convened by the 193 members of the U.N.'s International Telecommunications Union, which was chartered in 1865 to oversee international telegraph regulations. The House passed a similar resolution in August, after government officialsexpressed concern over a virtual takeover of the Internet if proposals from China, Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia were adopted.

The second resolution, also nonbinding, has already been approved unanimously by the Senate. It's a bit more strongly worded, saying "the consistent and unequivocal policy of the United States [is] to promote a global Internet free from government control and preserve and advance the successful multistakeholder model that governs the Internet today."

In a sharply partisan U.S. election year, this has been a rare point of bipartisan accord: during a May hearing in the House, Democrats and Republicans alike warned of what could happen at the ITU summit.