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 PRESS RELEASE: 10/27/05

Doolittle: Don't Hand the Internet Over to U.N.

Next Month's Summit Could Lead to Internet Taxation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an effort to ensure the Internet remains a tax-free, global communications network governed by the principles of free speech, Congressional Internet Caucus member Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-Roseville) introduced a resolution (H.Con.Res. 268) to underscore the need for the day-to-day operations of the Internet to be maintained in the United States. 

Despite the rapid growth and enormous success of the Internet, an effort is currently underway by the United Nations to cede governance of the Internet to an international organization - a move that would undoubtedly stifle innovation, hinder free speech, and allow this currently free medium to be subject to taxation.

"Turning the Internet over to the United Nations or some other phony international organization would be a disaster, and I am not willing to stand by and let it happen," said Doolittle.  "Having a bunch of international bureaucrats control the Internet would likely result in additional taxation and further infringements on our right to free speech.  The only way the Internet will continue to remain the thriving medium it has become today is to keep it under the control of the United States."

Despite the rapid growth and enormous success of the Internet, other countries like Brazil, France, and Iran are joining the effort to turn the Internet over to the U.N.  It is expected that this topic will be debated next month at the U.N.'s World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis, Tunisia.

"In a thinly veiled attempt to gain control of the Internet, the U.N. will try next month to persuade the world to turn the Internet over to an international body.  The only way to protect the future of e-commerce and open information gathering is to prevent those with problematic human rights records, muted free speech laws, and questionable taxation practices from wrestling control of the Internet."

Organized by the U.N.'s International Telecommunications Union, the World Summit on the Information Society will be hosted by the Government of Tunisia on November 16 through 18, 2005. 

Since 1998, the United States has had an understanding with a not-for-profit corporation called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) which has successfully managed the day-to-day operations of the Internet's domain name and addressing system.  Under the oversight of the Department of Commerce, ICANN has created approximately 260 Top Level Domains (TLD) including the traditional ".com" and ".org" to individual country codes such as ".uk" and, most recently, ".iq" for the new government of Iraq.  Under the existing system, each country's TLD is sovereign and subject to the policies and administration of its own government.

U.S. Rep. John T. Doolittle has served in the House of Representatives since 1991.  As Secretary of the House Republican Conference, he is an elected member of the House Republican Leadership.  Doolittle represents California's 4th Congressional District and serves on the Appropriations Committee, Energy and Water, Agriculture, and Interior Subcommittees, and the House Administration Committee.

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