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US House votes against government control of internet as ITU conference gets underway

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US Capitol 8 (Verge Stock)
US Capitol 8 (Verge Stock)

The US political climate may be one of fierce division, but it turns out there's something lawmakers agree on: maintaining the internet status quo. The House of Representatives today voted unanimously in favor of a resolution that calls for the web to "remain free from government control." The 397-0 vote represents a bipartisan statement from US elected officials and comes as members of the International Telecommunication Union meet in Dubai to update aging regulations. A number of proposals call for the agency to assume many responsibilities that currently rest with ICANN — or hand them off to individual governments. If realized, such ideas would "diminish the freedom of expression on the Internet in favor of government control over content" according to the resolution's text. "We need to send a strong message to the world that the Internet has thrived under a decentralized, bottom-up, multi-stakeholder governance model," Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee said of the vote.