Congressman to ban internet legislation

29.11.2012 - 16:04

US Republican congressman and advocate for internet freedoms, Darrell Issa, has proposed a two-year ban on all new federal legislation that affect or regulate the net.

Darrell Issa posted online the draft of his legislation, called Internet American Moratorium Act of 2012. The bill would "create a two-year moratorium on any new laws, rules or regulations governing the Internet."

The complete text of the bill was posted on 26 November on the site Project Madison, the nickname for a platform that allows citizens to improve individual passages of legislation by adding or striking language. Next day, Issa posted a link to the bill on Reddit, where users quickly voted it to the top.

"Together, we can make Washington take a break from messing w/ the Internet," the congressman wrote on the new site and invited users to suggest changes to the proposed bill.

It is not clear whether the moratorium would apply to his own Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade (OPEN) Act, which would seek to protect US copyrights and trademarks from infringement by foreign websites.

Some Reddit users didn't understand Issa's point of view, while others saw the action as a good move. The post had drawn more than 2,000 comments by early 28 November.

Issa was an outspoken critic of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which would have penalized websites that host pirated content. That bill died this year, with a near-unanimous opposition from the technology industry.

"After SOPA and PIPA (the Senate's similar Protect Intellectual Property Act), it became very clear that we needed a cooling-off period to figure out a better way to create policy that impacts Internet users, job creators and all Americans”, explained Issa's spokesman when he was asked why the congressman introduced the bill.