Resolution Providing Recommendation on UN Internet Oversight
This resolution calls on the US delegation to the United Nations (UN) to stand in opposition to any attempts to permit UN regulation of the Internet. The Internet is currently based on a multi-stakeholder model, allowing input from the public and private sectors. Several countries have advocated for change in the current structure, proposing that the UN or one of its branches establish control over the Internet. Recognizing that the current model of open access has enhanced and encouraged communication, innovation, the flow of information and free speech, any change could threaten the continuation and progression of information distribution. UN oversight may include an imposition of global taxes, further stifling the global economy and global commerce.
Whereas, people around the world procure considerable benefit from free and open access to the Internet and the number of Internet users continues to rise, currently surpassing two billion; and
Whereas, the Internet enhances communication, supplements education, drives innovation, distributes information, augments security and compels global commerce; and
Whereas, the current multi-stakeholder Internet model invites innovation with input from the public and private sectors; and
Whereas, changes to the current multi-stakeholder model are imminent; and
Whereas, several countries are advocating changes in the current structure, proposing the United Nations (UN) or one of its branches establish control over the Internet, raising grave and serious concerns over the potential effects of UN oversight; and
Whereas, departure from the current model of free and open access causes great trepidation regarding limitations on Internet access, the imposition of a series of taxes and fees directed towards access, constraints on information and communication and the implementation of charges on international communication; and
Whereas, populations in confined societies utilize the Internet as their primary source for information in addition to their primary forum for expression; and
Whereas, anticipated measures by certain nations may discourage access and deny persons the medium to circumnavigate their authoritarian regimes and allowing nations to exercise control over access; and
Whereas, ALEC is devoted to democratic principles and eschews threats to free expression; and
Whereas, alterations to the current model threatens global safety by restricting the ability to monitor terrorist activity on the Internet and potentially allowing them to communicate in secret; and
Whereas, a free and open Internet is necessary to promote communication, education, information, innovation, national security, commerce and free speech; and
Whereas, ALEC embraces all of these important principles;
Therefore be it resolved that the United States delegation firmly object to any proposals inviting or advocating for UN or any UN branch’s administration over the Internet’s model of establishment; and
Be it further resolved, that the United States delegation firmly denounce any and all efforts to permit the UN or any branch therein a role in content-related issues.
Approved by the ALEC Board of Directors on October 16, 2012.