US lawmakers blast UN 'power grab' for the Net

By REUTERS
May 31, 2012 22:41

WASHINGTON - US lawmakers on Thursday said they are united when it comes to keeping the Internet free from centralized control and preventing the United Nations from gaining power over Web content and infrastructure.

The US government wants to bring as much ammunition as possible to a December meeting in Dubai where delegations from 193 countries will discuss whether to hand governance of the Internet over to the United Nations.

The United States fears December's treaty-writing conference could turn the Internet into a political bargaining chip and could empower efforts by countries like China, Russia and Iran to erode Internet freedoms and isolate their populations.

"We may have our differences on domestic telecommunications policy, but having those policies decided at the international level would be the worst thing that could happen," Representative Marsha Blackburn said at a hearing before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee.


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