The House Energy and Commerce Committee is scheduled to mark up its Internet governance bill Wednesday.  The new version of the legislation restates U.S. policy and says the United States is committed to preserving and advancing the current multi-stakeholder model for governing the Internet.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association has been a longtime voice promoting a global open Internet free of censorship, filtering and surveillance.  We had some concerns about whether the early draft legislation might have been seen by some as counterproductive.

The following comments can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“We appreciate the committee’s effort to clarify that this legislation is directed at international concerns such as current attempts by Internet restricting countries to impose inter-governmental control over the content on the Internet. The legislation as now evolved should minimize any misuse of this policy statement here at home.”

“The Internet and the free flow of information cannot and should not be controlled by governments or dominant network providers. Multi-stakeholder governance should be the rule, as it better protects the Internet from both more obvious threats from totalitarian regimes as well as the seemingly noble, well-meaning efforts to control specific content or monitor Internet traffic.  The United States, where the Internet originated, should lead by example in promoting common principles for Internet freedom and access to online economic opportunity around the world.  CCIA appreciates the support from our Congress for diplomatic efforts to maintain the multi-stakeholder model of global Internet governance. “