Internet freedom bill returns without additional costs


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Another reason why a bill reaffirming the U.S., multistakeholder approach to Internet governance will remain government policy – it is free.

Based on data from the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Congressional Budget Office found implementing H.R. 1580 will have no effect on federal spending subject to appropriation. CBO said adoption of the bill will not add to agency workloads, and enacting it will not affect direct spending or revenues.

The same is true for nonfederal entities. The bill contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates, and will not affect state, local or tribal budgets.

Introduced in the House on April 16 by Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), the bill is a continuation of past policy toward Internet management.

The bill is predicated upon the idea that the realization of economic opportunity, innovation and freedom of expression require the free flow of information and are best accomplished in collaboration with all stakeholders.

A multistakeholder approach to Internet governance is founded on the notion that, “[g]iven the importance of the Internet to the global economy, it is essential that the Internet remain stable, secure, and free from government control,” according to the bill. The model involves groups from civil society, the private sector, government, academia, research communities, and national and international organizations.

It finds competition and trade, democratization, freedom of expression and access to information are affected by the structure of Internet governance. Such fundamental human rights are to be protected whether on or offline, according to the bill.

Other findings caution against policies introduced at international regulatory bodies requiring increased government control of the Internet, undermining the multistakeholder approach.

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Agencies, Commerce Department, Congress, Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Departments, Federal Communications Commission, Government IT News, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
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