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Internet Controls and Internet Neutrality
109th Congression
Senate of the USA
Control of the Internet

Internet Law


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Expressing the sense of the Senate that the United Nations and other international organizations shall not be allowed to exercise control over the Internet. (Introduced in Senate)



1st Session

S. RES. 273
Expressing the sense of the Senate that the United Nations and other international organizations shall not be allowed to exercise control over the Internet .


October 17, 2005
Mr. COLEMAN submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


Expressing the sense of the Senate that the United Nations and other international organizations shall not be allowed to exercise control over the Internet .

Whereas market-based policies and private sector leadership have allowed the Internet the flexibility to evolve;

Whereas given the importance of the Internet to the global economy, it is essential that the underlying domain name system and technical infrastructure of the Internet remain stable and secure;

Whereas the Internet was created in the United States and has flourished under United States supervision and oversight, and the Federal Government has followed a path of transferring Internet control from the defense sector to the civilian sector, including the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) with the goal of full privatization;

Whereas the developing world deserves the access to knowledge, services, commerce, and communication, the accompanying benefits to economic development, education, health care, and the informed discussion that is the bedrock of democratic self-government that the Internet provides;

Whereas the explosive and hugely beneficial growth of the Internet did not result from increased government involvement but from the opening of the Internet to commerce and private sector innovation;

Whereas, on June 30, 2005, President George W. Bush announced that the United States intends to maintain its historic role over the master `root zone' file of the Internet , which lists all authorized top-level Internet domains;

Whereas the recently articulated principles of the United States on the domain name and addressing system of the Internet (DNS) are that the Federal Government will preserve the security and stability of the DNS, will take no action with the potential to adversely affect the effective and efficient operation of the DNS, and will maintain the historic role of the United States regarding modifications to the root zone file, that governments have a legitimate interest in the management of country code top level domains (ccTLD), and the United States is committed to working with the international community to address the concerns of that community in accordance with the stability and security of the DNS, that ICANN is the appropriate technical manager of the Internet , and the United States will continue to provide oversight so that ICANN maintains focus and meets its core technical mission, and that dialogue relating to Internet governance should continue in multiple relevant fora, and the United States encourages an ongoing dialogue with all stakeholders and will continue to support market-based approaches and private sector leadership;

Whereas the final report issued by the Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) of the United Nations indicates that an entity affiliated with the United Nations should assume global governance of the Internet ;

Whereas a United Nations taskforce report suggests that, in addition to terminating the leadership role of the United States with respect to the Internet , the authority and functions of ICANN should be transferred to an entity affiliated with the United Nations;

Whereas that report contains recommendations for relegating the private sector and nongovernmental organizations to an advisory capacity, and some nations advocating such a change have stated that the private sector and nongovernmental organizations should have no future role in Internet governance;

Whereas the European Union has also proposed transferring control of the Internet to the United Nations, and such a transfer of control of the Internet would confer significant leverage to the governments of Iran, Cuba, and China, and would impose an undesirable layer of politicized bureaucracy on the operations of the Internet that would result in an inadequate response to the rapid pace of technological change;

Whereas some nations that advocate radical change in the structure of Internet governance censor the information available to their citizens through the Internet and use the Internet as a tool of surveillance to curtail legitimate political discussion and dissent, and other nations operate telecommunications systems as state-controlled monopolies or highly-regulated and highly-taxed entities;

Whereas some nations in support of transferring Internet governance to an entity affiliated with the United Nations, or another international entity, might seek to have such an entity endorse national policies that block access to information, stifle political dissent, and maintain outmoded communications structures;

Whereas the structure and control of Internet governance has profound implications for homeland security, competition and trade, democratization, free expression, access to information, privacy, and the protection of intellectual property, and the threat of some nations to take unilateral actions that would fracture the root zone file would result in a less functional Internet with diminished benefits for all people; and

Whereas the World Summit on the Information Society will meet in November 2005 in Tunisia to discuss the possibility of transferring control of the Internet to the United Nations or another international entity, and that summit will likely be the beginning of a prolonged international debate regarding the future of Internet governance: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate--

(1) calls on the President to continue to oppose any effort to transfer control of the Internet to the United Nations or any other international entity;

(2) applauds the President for--

(A) clearly and forcefully asserting that the United States has no present intention of relinquishing the historic leadership role the United States has played in Internet governance; and

(B) articulating a vision of the future of the Internet that places privatization over politicization with respect to the Internet ; and

(3) calls on the President to--

(A) recognize the need for, and pursue a continuing and constructive dialogue with the international community on, the future of Internet governance; and

(B) advance the values of an open Internet in the broader trade and diplomatic conversations of the United States.

See Also:
Internet Law in Congress | Information Center