H.R. 491: Global Online Freedom Act of 2013

Feb 04, 2013
Referred to Committee
2% chance of being enacted
Track this bill
Christopher “Chris” Smith
Representative for New Jersey's 4th congressional district
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Last Updated
Feb 04, 2013
28 pages
Related Bills
H.R. 1389 (112th) was a previous version of this bill.

Referred to Committee
Last Action: Apr 06, 2011


This bill was assigned to a congressional committee on February 4, 2013, which will consider it before possibly sending it on to the House or Senate as a whole.

Introduced Feb 04, 2013
Referred to Committee Feb 04, 2013
Reported by Committee ...
Passed House ...
Passed Senate ...
Signed by the President ...

14% chance of getting past committee.
2% chance of being enacted.

Only 11% of bills made it past committee and only about 3% were enacted in 2011–2013. [show factors | methodology]

Full Title

To prevent United States businesses from cooperating with repressive governments in transforming the Internet into a tool of censorship and surveillance, to fulfill the responsibility of the United States Government to promote freedom of expression on the Internet, to restore public confidence in the integrity of United States businesses, and for other purposes.


No summaries available.

2 cosponsors (1D, 1R) (show)

House Financial Services

House Foreign Affairs

Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations

House Ways and Means

The committee chair determines whether a bill will move past the committee stage.

Primary Source

THOMAS.gov (The Library of Congress)

GovTrack gets most information from THOMAS, which is updated generally one day after events occur. Activity since the last update may not be reflected here. Data comes via the congress project.


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H.R. stands for House of Representatives bill.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the president to become law.

The bill’s title was written by its sponsor.

GovTrack’s Bill Summary

We don’t have a summary available yet.

Library of Congress Summary

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

Global Online Freedom Act of 2013 - Makes it U.S. policy to: (1) promote the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media; (2) use all appropriate instruments of U.S. influence to support the free flow of information without interference or discrimination; and (3) deter U.S. businesses from cooperating with Internet-restricting countries in effecting online censorship.
Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) the President should seek international agreements to protect Internet freedom; and (2) U.S. businesses operating in foreign countries should ensure online access to U.S.-supported websites and government reports, promote the security of Internet users, and limit censorship of protected political and religious speech and information.
Amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to require assessments of freedom of expression with respect to electronic information in each foreign country.
Directs the Secretary of State to annually designate Internet-restricting countries.
Amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to require each Internet communications service company that operates in an Internet-restricting country to include in its annual report information relating to:
(1) human rights due diligence,
(2) policies pertaining to the collection and disclosure of personally identifiable information, and
(3) restrictions on Internet search engines or content hosting services.
Sets forth an exception for companies that include in their annual report a certification of their participation in good standing with the Global Network Initiative or other specified multi-stakeholder initiatives.
Amends the Export Administration Act of 1979, as continued in effect under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, to direct the Secretary of Commerce to:
(1) establish a list of goods and technology that would assist a foreign government in acquiring the capability to carry out censorship, surveillance, or any other related activity through means of telecommunications, including the Internet; and
(2) prohibit the export of listed goods or technology to a government end-user (including a wholly or partially government-owned telecommunications or Internet service provider) in any Internet-restricting country.

House Republican Conference Summary

The summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.

No summary available.

House Democratic Caucus Summary

The House Democratic Caucus does not provide summaries of bills.

So, yes, we display the House Republican Conference’s summaries when available even if we do not have a Democratic summary available. That’s because we feel it is better to give you as much information as possible, even if we cannot provide every viewpoint.

We’ll be looking for a source of summaries from the other side in the meanwhile.

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