Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Closed Web

Are there risks to losing control?
"Make no mistake: Threats to the openness and freedom of the Internet are real," said Republican Rep. Greg Walden, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee, which held a hearing on the issue Wednesday. "Leaders such as Vladimir Putin have explicitly announced their desire to gain control of the Internet."

Walden and other Republicans are pushing a bill that would block the transfer of authority until the Government Accountability Office can study the issue. Dozens of Senate Republicans, led by John Thune and Marco Rubio, sent a letter to the administration on Wednesday, demanding more answers about the plan.

But Democrats at Wednesday's hearing insisted that if Republicans were serious about Internet freedom, they would support the U.S. proposal. Assistant Secretary of Commerce Larry Strickling said the U.S. will make sure that no foreign government will be able to seize new powers over the Internet.

"No one has yet to explain to me the mechanism by which any of these individual governments could somehow seize control of the Internet as a whole," Strickling said.

"Do you really think that Vladimir Putin... isn't going to figure out some way to get control?" Rep. Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, shot back. "China and Russia can be very resourceful,"
In Russia, Web surfs you...

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