Tech Talk: Will Congress Step Away from Internet Regulation?

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November 29, 2012 ‐ By Kimberly Maul

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

The past two years have been bumpy ones for the relationship between Congress and Internet regulation, with the introduction and shutting down of SOPA and PIPA, among other things. But Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) hopes to get Congress to “take a break from messing with the Internet” with a proposed new bill.

On November 26, Issa introduced a draft of the Internet American Moratorium Act (IAMA), which would “create a two-year moratorium on any new laws, rules or regulations governing the Internet.” And he turned to Reddit, the user-generated news site, on Wednesday to discuss the law and get feedback from Internet users.

“I’m not advocating for no rules or laws on the Internet ever. But it has been made abundantly clear to me, and to a lot of other people, that both legislators and regulators have gone down the road of trying to take actions that impact the Internet without knowing their full effect,” Issa said on Reddit. “This is the case today both domestically and internationally.”

Naturally, not everyone agrees with Issa and there was some backlash on Reddit regarding Issa’s past behavior on Internet regulation laws. According to Gigi Sohn, president of consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge, who spoke to The Hill, “Even if they pass this bill, Congress could pass another Internet regulation bill that would supersede the previous bill.”

Do you think Issa’s bill would have any real impact in Congress? Or is it good protection to keep the status quo of internet regulation in place for a couple more years?

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