Ethenet cables. Photo: Flickr/Dugbee

Photo: Flickr/Dugbee

To its great credit, the Obama administration has refused to sign on to a United Nations agreement that would have put more of the Internet under international governance and potentially curtailed the freedom that has allowed it to thrive.

This is consistent with what Heritage Foundation scholars Brett Schaefer and James Gattuso recommended:

The U.S. must articulate clear red lines and, if they are crossed, be willing to walk away. Protecting the vitality and viability of the Internet is preferable to signing on to a compromise agreement that violates key principles and undercuts the framework that has contributed to its success.

It’s definitely encouraging that the U.S. took this same position, though Heritage research was not likely the decisive factor.

The United Nations agreement, they argued, is deeply flawed. “At best, this is unnecessary, as the Internet is doing quite well under the current framework,” they explained. “At worst, the expansion will allow the U.N.—parent organization of the ITU—to stifle the Web.”

Do you think international organizations should play a greater role in regulating and managing the Internet?

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