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112th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     112-564

======================================================================

 
  EXPRESSING THE SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING ACTIONS TO PRESERVE AND 
ADVANCE THE MULTISTAKEHOLDER GOVERNANCE MODEL UNDER WHICH THE INTERNET 
                              HAS THRIVED

                                _______
                                

   June 29, 2012.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Upton, from the Committee on Energy and Commerce, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                    [To accompany H. Con. Res. 127]

    The Committee on Energy and Commerce, to whom was referred 
the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 127) expressing the 
sense of Congress regarding actions to preserve and advance the 
multistakeholder governance model under which the Internet has 
thrived, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
without amendment and recommend that the concurrent resolution 
be agreed to.

                            C O N T E N T S

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     4
Committee Consideration..........................................     4
Committee Votes..................................................     4
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     4
Statement of General Performance, Goals and Objectives...........     5
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     5
Earmark..........................................................     5
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     5
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     5
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     5
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     5
Section-by-Section Analysis of Legislation.......................     5
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     6

                              LEGISLATION

    Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate 
concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that the 
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and 
Information, in consultation with the Deputy Assistant 
Secretary of State and United States Coordinator for 
International Communications and Information Policy, should 
continue working to implement the position of the United States 
on Internet governance that clearly articulates the consistent 
and unequivocal policy of the United States to promote a global 
Internet free from government control and preserve and advance 
the successful multistakeholder model that governs the Internet 
today.

                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    H. Con. Res. 127 expresses the sense of Congress that the 
United States should continue to preserve and advance the 
multistakeholder governance model under which the Internet has 
thrived as well as resist the imposition of an International 
Telecommunication Union (ITU) mandated international settlement 
regime on the Internet. The resolution asks the Assistant 
Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information to 
consult with the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and U.S. 
Coordinator for International Communication and Information 
Policy to continue implementation of the consistent policy of 
the United States to promote an Internet free from government 
control and advance the multistakeholder model of Internet 
governance.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Pending international proposals to regulate the Internet 
could jeopardize not only its vibrancy, but also the economic 
and social benefits it brings to the world. Nations from across 
the globe will consider changes to the International 
Telecommunications Regulations at the December 2012 World 
Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai. These 
regulations, adopted by treaty, govern the international 
operation of traditional telephone service. Some countries, 
however, are proposing to expand them and the jurisdiction of 
the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union to 
apply to the Internet.
    The Internet has been successful because it has been 
managed under a multistakeholder model in which a number of 
non-governmental institutions oversee critical parts of its 
architecture with input from private- and public-sector 
participants. This bottom-up, decentralized structure mirrors 
the decentralized nature of the networks that make up the 
Internet itself. It maximizes flexibility and innovation, 
helping to prevent any one governmental or non-governmental 
actor from exerting control over either the design of the 
Internet or the content it carries. That is why the Internet 
has been able to evolve and grow so quickly, both as a 
technological platform and as a means of expanding the free 
flow of commerce and ideas. Deviation from that 
multistakeholder model weakens the Internet, harming its 
ability to spread both prosperity and freedom. Consequently, 
there is bipartisan agreement that the United States should 
stand firm in international negotiations and oppose any treaty 
provisions at the WCIT that expand the jurisdiction of the ITU 
to cover the Internet.

The origins of the Internet and Internet governance

    The Internet finds its roots in ARPANET, launched in 1969 
by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to connect 
universities and research laboratories working on Department of 
Defense projects. Over the next two decades, ARPANET 
transitioned from a government network to include civilian 
users under the auspices of the National Science Foundation and 
became NSFNET. As the NSFNET grew and standards evolved to 
connect computer networks, a larger ``network of networks'' 
emerged. Then, in 1992, the Scientific and Advanced-Technology 
Act allowed the NSFNET to interconnect with other non-
governmental networks and opened the door to commercial 
participation. It was at this point that the network began to 
grow exponentially, and the modern Internet was born.
    When network use was limited to U.S. government purposes, 
the Department of Defense managed the network. By the 1990s, 
however, most of the growth was coming from non-military users, 
and the NSF created the Internet Network Information Center 
(InterNIC) to manage both numeric addressing on the networks as 
well as the databases of sites. As the number of commercial 
users grew, Internet addressing and domain name management 
became exceedingly complex. By 1998 these functions were moved 
completely out of the U.S. government and control of InterNIC 
was transferred to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names 
and Numbers, a California non-profit corporation contracted by 
the Department of Commerce to manage a number of Internet-
related tasks.
    A series of ad hoc groups form the engineering corps of the 
Internet. The Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet 
Architecture Board, the Internet Engineering Steering Group, 
and the Internet Research Task Force, now collectively 
organized under the international non-profit Internet Society, 
are run by volunteers and all work to create voluntary 
standards for Internet users to make interconnection of all 
networks easier.
    ICANN, as well as the groups that oversee the creation of 
voluntary Internet standards under the auspices of the Internet 
Society, receive input from governments, Internet users, 
corporations investing in the Internet, academics, and 
engineers that develop the technology that makes the Internet 
possible. The flexibility of this governance structure, 
referred to as the ``multistakeholder model,'' is what has 
enabled the explosive growth of the Internet as a driver of 
jobs, commerce, social discourse, and innovation.

History of the international telecommunications regulations

    International telecommunications service is governed 
pursuant to regulations adopted through treaty by the 193 
nation members of the International Telecommunications Union, 
the United Nations' specialized agency for information and 
communications technologies. The ITU was originally chartered 
in 1865 to organize the international regulation of telegraph 
service.
    The ITU convened the World Administrative Telegraph and 
Telephone Conference in 1988 to consider a ``new'' regulatory 
framework for the international regulation of 
telecommunications. Among the resulting International 
Telecommunications Regulations were revisions to the way 
telecommunications providers pay each other for completing 
international phone calls, often referred to as ``settlement 
rates.'' The United States Senate ratified the International 
Telecommunications Regulations in 1992. These regulations 
specifically addressed voice telephony, not data processing 
capabilities, and resulted in large payments to telephone 
companies often owned or controlled by governments.

Current proposals to regulate the Internet

    The ITU will consider changes to the International 
Telecommunications Regulations at the December 2012 World 
Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai. 
Proposals by Russia and China to establish an ``information 
security'' regime are of particular concern. They: (1) appear 
to enshrine an international cybersecurity regime; (2) could 
serve as a justification for countries to engage in Internet 
censorship in the name of national security; and (3) seek to 
authorize regulation of the Internet by an international 
governmental body within the ITU, replacing the 
multistakeholder model that has served the Internet and the 
world so well.
    Proposals by a number of countries to regulate rates for 
the international exchange of Internet traffic is also of 
concern. The settlement regime for telecommunications traffic 
was developed for old technology in a less competitive 
environment, and even then resulted in high rates. It is ill 
suited to the dynamic and diverse technology and more 
competitive environment of the Internet, especially since the 
Internet does not adhere to political boundaries. A top-down 
regulatory regime quickly would become untenable.

                                HEARINGS

    The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a 
legislative hearing on May 31, 2012, entitled ``International 
Proposals to Regulate the Internet.'' The Subcommittee received 
testimony from Mr. Vinton Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist at 
Google; Ambassador David A. Gross, Former U.S. Coordinator for 
International Communications and Information Policy; FCC 
Commissioner Robert McDowell; Ambassador Philip Verveer, Deputy 
Assistant Secretary of State and U.S. Coordinator for 
International Communications and Information Policy; and Ms. 
Sally Shipman Wentworth, Senior Director, Public Policy at 
Internet Society.

                        COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    Representative Mary Bono Mack, together with Rep. Fred 
Upton, Rep. Henry Waxman, Rep. Greg Walden, and Rep. Anna 
Eshoo, introduced H. Con. Res. 127 on May 30, 2012.
    On June 20, 2012, the Committee on Energy and Commerce met 
in open markup session and ordered the resolution to be 
favorably reported to the House by a voice vote.

                            COMMITTEE VOTES

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes 
on the motion to report legislation and amendments thereto.
    At the June 20, 2012, open markup session of the Committee 
on Energy and Commerce, no amendments were offered and the 
resolution was favorably reported by voice vote. There were no 
recorded votes.

                      COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee held oversight and 
legislative hearings and made findings that are reflected in 
this report.

         STATEMENT OF GENERAL PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

    The goal of H. Con. Res. 127 is to encourage the Assistant 
Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information to 
consult with the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and U.S. 
Coordinator for International Communication and Information 
Policy to continue implementation of the consistent policy of 
the United States to promote an Internet free from government 
control and advance the multistakeholder model of Internet 
governance.

    NEW BUDGET AUTHORITY, ENTITLEMENT AUTHORITY AND TAX EXPENDITURES

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee finds that H. 
Con. Res. 127 would result in no new or increased budget 
authority, entitlement authority, or tax expenditures or 
revenues.

                                EARMARKS

    In compliance with clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI 
of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee 
finds that H. Con. Res. 127 contains no earmarks, limited tax 
benefits, or limited tariff benefits.

                        COMMITTEE COST ESTIMATE

    The Committee finds that H. Con. Res. 127 would result in 
no new costs to the Federal government.

                       FEDERAL MANDATES STATEMENT

    The Congressional Budget Office estimate required pursuant 
to clause 3(c) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, and the estimate of Federal mandates required pursuant 
to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act were not 
requested from the Congressional Budget Office as this 
resolution would result in no new costs to the Federal 
government.

                      ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                  APPLICABILITY TO LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

               SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF LEGISLATION

    The resolution states ``[t]hat it is the sense of Congress 
that the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and 
Information, in consultation with the Deputy Assistant 
Secretary of State and United States Coordinator for 
International Communications and Information Policy, should 
continue working to implement the position of the United States 
on Internet governance that clearly articulates the consistent 
and unequivocal policy of the United States to promote a global 
Internet free from government control and preserve and advance 
the successful multistakeholder model that governs the Internet 
today.''

         CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    This legislation does not amend any existing Federal 
statute.