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American Senate votes against internet regulation

Senate unanimously supports internet freedom

A vote in the American Senate on a bill backing internet freedom has passed unanimously, with a final result of 397 – 0 in favour.

The bill is designed to send a message to a UN conference taking place this week, where proposed changes to the way the internet is regulated are being discussed. The Senate joins a growing movement against the changes, with Google warning of the risks to a ‘free and open’ internet and many users of significant websites such as Reddit showing their disapproval.

The representative for Tennessee, Rep. Marsha Blackburn commented: “We need to send a strong message to the world that the Internet has thrived under [the current] governance model.”

United Nations comments on internet freedom

A United Nations statement on internet freedom remarked that: “The real challenge is to fully exploit the potential of new media while not compromising civil liberties, including the right to freedom of expression.”

While this statement from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) appears to be in support of internet freedom, many internet users around the world are worried that their plans could see the kind of internet regulation seen in China and Russia, where the government has total control over what content appears for users in these countries.

Natalie Booth, head of search at theEword commented: “We have seen many significant internet sources speak out against internet regulation in recent weeks, with Google, Facebook and Twitter all showing opposition. This vote from the American Senate shows the widespread opposition to any proposed changes, and could well have a considerable impact on the way the UN conference develops.”

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