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.