What Is The Internet Moratorium Act 2012?

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) is, I admit, my bete noir on almost every issue that matters. He’s bad on gay rights, bad on women’s rights and bad on immigration. And he’s a terribly dishonest hypocrite about global climate change. He is somewhat schizophrenic when it comes to copyright. (Yes, spoiler alert, I am a gigantic liberal. Sue me.) Yet despite all of these odious points, he’s pretty good on issues pertaining to the Internet.

Last year, he was among those opposed to SOPA and PIPA, which begrudgingly endeared him to me, and a year later he’s gone a bit further with the introduction of The Internet American Moratorium Act. Currently only a proposal, the act (you can read it here) would, if passed, halt any new rules or regulations pertaining to the Internet for a period of two years, effectively putting the brakes on any attempt to resurrect SOPA or PIPA for much longer than people feared.

We obviously support such an agenda in theory. While we’re willing to concede some structure might be a good thing, nearly every attempt to regulate the Internet has either been a transparent attack on free speech or an plot to hand the rules of discourse over to major corporate copyright holders. Here’s the bill’s explanation of what it does:

“It is resolved in the House of Representatives and Senate that they shall not pass any new legislation for a period of 2 years from the date of enactment of this Act that would require individuals or corporations engaged in activities on the Internet to meet additional requirements or activities. After 90 days of passage of this Act no Department or Agency of the United States shall publish new rules or regulations, or finalize or otherwise enforce or give lawful effect to draft rules or regulations affecting the Internet until a period of at least 2 years from the enactment of this legislation has elapsed.”

This sounds good, though I have to wonder about the specific inclusion of “corporations” in this. Part of me thinks this is also meant to thwart any attempt to impose an Internet sales tax. Still, this bill is overall a very good idea; if you agree, hit up your congressperson. For more, go here.

Via Game Politics.

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12 Comments on What Is The Internet Moratorium Act 2012?

Anathemize

On December 2, 2012 at 11:50 am

I stopped reading after… “I am a gigantic liberal.”

Ross Lincoln

On December 2, 2012 at 11:51 am

And yet you still commented. Thanks!

Gaynor

On December 2, 2012 at 11:53 am

Anathemize – don’t confuse liberalism with the sort of guff usually associated with liberalism today, such as affirmative action and political correctness. Liberalism should simply mean supporting the liberty of the people, sadly it’s been twisted by the extreme-left over time but in theory every person in the land should endorse it.

folklore

On December 2, 2012 at 12:02 pm

GOP or Liberal, shouldn’t have an impact when it comes to defending the internet. On the actual proposal. It sounds really good, though i have to wonder where the catch is.

Ross Lincoln

On December 2, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Folklore, I had the same thought: I’m guessing, if there is a catch, it’s what i said above, basically a way of also shutting down an Internet sales tax. Not that there’s one currently on the table but every few years it gets bandied about. I can live with that though if it means the open Internet is preserved.

ltenhet

On December 2, 2012 at 1:33 pm

This is definitely a good thing, sopa and pipa style laws aren’t something I want us to deal with. And don’t worry Ross I still like you, even if your political opinion is totally wrong! (jk, everyone deserves their own opinion)

Daniel O'Dette

On December 2, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Mr. Lincoln,

While we probably will not agree on 90% or more of issues, we do agree on the internet.

There is no doubt that something insidious is being planned for the internet. To grant the government the ability to shut down sites without that site owner’s permission or consent is akin to removing the freedom of the press on the web. A Political opponent’s online hub? Their sites vanish within seconds. Whistle-blower website? Gone in a heartbeat.

It’s nice to know that some more people are willing to fight to keep freedom.

Kevin

On December 2, 2012 at 3:30 pm

I’ve asked a few times that Gamefront really start reporting on this kinda stuff more. This is one of those issues that doesn’t need to be partisan. (Look at Derek Khana’s pretty bold ideas on copyright reform and see where the future of the Republican Party is going on these issues for example.)

So yeah, that Gamefront is commenting on these sorta things, downright awesome.

Me, I tend to fall on the opposite side of the political spectrum than Mr. Lincoln. But on things like this, it is worth considering.

Ross, did you see Issa’s editorial “Making Government Suck Less” that he did at Tech Crunch?

http://techcrunch.com/2012/11/14/making-government-suck-less/

ignore the first two paragraphs, then read on.

Ron Whitaker

On December 3, 2012 at 6:32 am

@folklore: The catch is that it’s only for two years, and then it goes away. I’d rather it be written with a sunset clause that causes it to be brought up for a vote again in two years. Hopefully we could amass the votes to pass it again.

Jimbo

On December 3, 2012 at 7:31 am

Nearly 200 UN delegates are currently undergoing discussions on how best to privatise and control the internet, although they’re using the fallacy of “redistribution to less wealthy areas” as their smokescreen to keep the masses in line. Any attempts to legislate on the internet for political or corporate purposes needs to be totally and utterly opposed.

Anathemize

On December 9, 2012 at 10:34 pm

The reason i stopped reading was because he put his political views in here that had nothing to do with the article. I understand this is part editorial but I don’t come to a game site to see a guys political views on things unrelated to the article.

I understand that he is trying to show how much he generally disagrees with guy but at the same time agrees with him on this point but it could of been done another way. The whole

“He’s bad on rights, bad on women’s rights and bad on immigration. And he’s a terribly dishonest hypocrite about global climate change.”

This is all opinion that has nothing to do about the internet bills. This is what made me angry. I don’t come to this site to get a game critics views on non gaming stuff. I applaud Gamefront from putting gaming politics on here because its interesting but keep the other views of politics to CNN/FOX/CNBC.

Baby WahWah

On December 10, 2012 at 3:25 am

Anathemize – I agree, it’s tiresome. News > views every day of the week. On the plus side, at least he doesn’t let his political agenda cloud his judgement on game reviews (as far as I’m aware) like Ben Richardson did with Far Cry 3.