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Issa Suggests Ban On Internet Legislation, Online Eyebrows Rise

November 29, 2012 by  

Issa Suggests Ban On Internet Legislation, Online Eyebrows Rise
Representative Darrell Issa's proposed bill would enact a two-year ban on burdensome Internet regulation.

Representative Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has proposed a bill that could allow Internet freedom advocates a little bit of time to regroup and build a stronger framework to combat the Federal government’s continuous crusade to gain undisputed control over the Internet. But it could be a Trojan horse.

Issa’s proposal, The Internet American Moratorium Act (IAMA), was released in an online draft earlier this week for public discussion. The bill would enact a two-year ban on burdensome Internet regulation from Congress and the Administration of Barack Obama, effectively barring any new burdensome regulation from the government.

Issa followed the release of his draft bill with an “Ask Me Anything” session on the popular online community Reddit, during which he fielded questions from users who called into question his devotion to Internet freedom.

Issa has been an outspoken critic of such Internet regulation bills as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), both of which established ways by which Federal and private sector collusion could chill online free speech for everyday Internet users while also allowing for dissemination of private information to government agencies.

The Congressman did, however, support and vote in favor of the also unpopular Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which led to a backlash from Internet users that proved its Congressional undoing.

Asked about his support for that initiative by a Reddit user, Issa answered in part:

CISPA was not a secret. And when you compare its development to the normal legislative process, it can’t accurately be described as “rushed though.” But it all started by establishing clear policy goals and broad legislative principles. On June 24, 2011, the Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Majority Leader Cantor created a Cybersecurity Task Force to make recommendations and coordinate among the nine House committees with significant jurisdiction on cybersecurity issues. In particular they focused on four areas:

  1. Critical Infrastructure and Incentives
  2. Information Sharing and Public-Private Partnerships
  3. Updating Existing Cybersecurity Laws
  4. Legal Authorities

This taskforce, made up of nine members of Congress and their staffs, met with numerous experts, associations, industry groups, privacy groups and federal agencies, in addition to their counterparts in the Senate and the White House. On October 5, 2011 the House Cybersecurity Task Force released its recommendations to the public. The recommendations reinforced concerns that Internet-based companies and critical infrastructure networks are either being hacked or are extremely vulnerable to hacking by entities both domestic and abroad. They also advocated for solutions that did not encumber the private sector with new regulations.

Issa said he believed that the benefits of CISPA outweighed the bill’s threat potential to personal privacy and free speech on the Internet, concerns the Electronic Frontier Foundation said last April were valid.

The White House criticized CISPA, which initially failed in Congress along with a handful of other Internet regulation bills, but recent reports indicate that executive branch officials are working on their own version of cyber regulation that would most likely be pushed into law via Presidential fiat.

Some of the Reddit questioners pointed this out during the online interview, indicating that the Issa initiative is merely a Trojan horse that would allow the Federal government to enact even more burdensome Internet laws while avoiding public outrage.

And, indeed, the current draft of the bill contains a national security exemption, permitting the President — after notifying Congress — to allow executive branch agencies “to promulgate rules that have otherwise been suspended” by the Act in order to address an “existential threat to the Internet.”

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • Wilson Biggs (@ItsDigitalBrony)

    Finally. A republican with some common sense. And look! He actually agrees with a democrat! My hero!

    Seriously, though: This guy actually knows what he’s doing. Unlike the conservative old men who run congress, this guy knows how the internet works. I applaud him.

    • Tigerous

      Yup. Issa’s got his stuff together. Wish more of them did.


        Yep ISSA’s got it together all right but really whats he going to to about the gun running across border to mexico. and what are they doing about pres. arming hamas to distroy Isralis??? it is time to stop the wars this president is involed with .Or is all of congress and
        all branches of government including state GOVERNMENTS??? LOOKS TO ME LIKE the UN is calling the shots. are we all under one nation under COMMUNEST GOVERNMENT???
        if so just remember we will all ansewer to the same GOD OF all.
        And will we all sit with him or will we all go to the pitt of fire. thank you all
        for your lies and greed for the earthly things.

      • Nadzieja Batki

        I am glad that Issa in effect is saying keep your d…n hands off the Internet and that any legislation meddling with the Internet will create more troubles than it solves.

  • teddy maher

    This is a dangerous reality …. These dopes on both sides of the aisle want to control and dictate to a phenomenon that is obviously much smarter than them and obviously more prolific…. Do the numbers … if you meddle with something as vast and globally present as the internet it will bring the people to the street…

  • Mikey

    This is the part that scares me (and should scare all citizens of this country):
    “The White House criticized CISPA, which initially failed in Congress along with a handful of other Internet regulation bills, but recent reports indicate that executive branch officials are working on their own version of cyber regulation that would most likely be pushed into law via Presidential fiat.”

    Whenever the president can’t get what he wants, he simply bypasses the checks and balances that the other branches of government were designed to provide. He doesn’t think the constitution applies to him.
    I think it’s just a matter of time before we can kiss the first amendment goodbye.

    • Wilson Biggs (@ItsDigitalBrony)

      I hope it’s just a matter of time before the republicans stop thinking that Obama is an evil communist who helps terrorists and wants the country to die. Please. Get some common sense, dammit.

    • Wilson Biggs (@ItsDigitalBrony)

      Did you complain when George W Bush and nearly every other damn president released an executive order? I think not.

  • Chester

    Bernadine, what under the sun does internet privacy have to do with gun running, government allowed or not? Seems like you have your own little iron to stick in a fire, and this fire just came handy. Another little item of interest. ANY executive order can be called up in front of the U S Supreme court, and a determination made as to its legality or lack thereof. Just because it hasn’t been done lately does NOT mean it is impossible to do.

    • independent thinker

      “Bernadine, what under the sun does internet privacy have to do with gun running, government allowed or not? ”

      Two words…Darrell Issa.

  • Jim

    The question no one seems to want to ask is, why does the government need to control every dam thing? Are we all REALLY that stupid that we need the government in ALL aspects of our lives?


    I can remember in a letter from Cong. Feinstein about 5 years past, how she vehemently swore there was no move to interfere with the freedom of speech in the internet and how she would oppose any attempt to intrude…

    SO congresswoman, I haven’t heard one public speech on national media to assure anyone, anywhere that you will stand up for your printed words…..what’s the prob?


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