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US Congressman Wants To Ban New Internet Laws 205

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-sure-that-issa-good-idea dept.
SchrodingerZ writes "Representative Darrell Issa, a Republican congressman from California, has drafted a bill for the internet. The bill, aptly named the Internet American Moratorium Act (IAMA), is, 'a two-year moratorium on any new laws, rules or regulations governing the Internet.' In short it hopes to deny any new government bills related to lawmaking on the internet for the next two years. The bill was first made public on the website Reddit, and is currently on the front page of Keepthewebopen.com, a website advocating internet rights. 'Together we can make Washington take a break from messing w/ the Internet,' Issa writes on his Reddit post. The initial response to the bill has been mixed. Users of Reddit are skeptical of the paper's motives and credibility. As of now, the bill is just a discussion draft, whether it will gain footing in the future is up in the air."
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US Congressman Wants To Ban New Internet Laws

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  • 1st! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by deadweight (681827) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:19AM (#42115981)
    A law to not make laws? Why not just not pass the laws you don't want?
    • Why spend time building something up when some capricious law is just going to tear it down or otherwise gimp it? Well, under this declaration, you know nothing is coming down the pike for the next 2 years.

      • Until I pass a law next week that says "all previous restraints are void" !
        • "Why spend time building something up when some capricious law is just going to tear it down or otherwise gimp it? " Isn't that pretty much all of human history except when you are either in the good graces of an unelected monarch/dictator or living someplace with no effective government?
  • My worry is... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ByOhTek (1181381) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:19AM (#42115983) Journal

    Will it help net neutrality, or will it be more designed to favor corporate profiteering and plundering at the public's expense?

    • Re:My worry is... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@noSPam.hackish.org> on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:23AM (#42116001)

      Some from column A, some from column B. It would make it harder for the government to directly interfere in various ways, but would also make it harder for the government to enforce any kind of utility-style fair-access or net-neutrality rules (since those would be "regulations").

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lightknight (213164)

      Do you mean net neutrality, or 'Net Neutrality'? One is TCP/IP's 'fight for your life' fair approach, while the other is a political movement that undermines the internet while appearing to serve it, in much the same way that any bill making its way through Congress can be understood by taking the negation of its name.

    • Re:My worry is... (Score:5, Informative)

      by jellie (949898) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:36AM (#42116113)

      Darrell Issa strongly opposes net neutrality [theverge.com], with a Republican platform that supports some ironic thing called "internet freedom" [theverge.com]. Last year, Issa ripped into FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski [pcworld.com] at a Congressional hearing, accusing him of doing Obama's bidding regarding net neutrality (wtf?).

      In short, Issa is a conservative Republican who has been on a mission to destroy net neutrality.

      • There's your answer. And this is what I was worried about. Locking down the rules with and without net neutrality are two very different things, and I wouldn't want to lock them down without.

        • by fnj (64210)

          It doesn't matter anyway. Such a law as proposed is nothing more than farce; mere Kabuki Theatre. Congress does not have the power to bind its own hands.

      • Re:My worry is... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by JWW (79176) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @10:45AM (#42116811)

        I still would rather have Congress and the FCC do nothing to change the net, then have them "do something."

        The FCC is especially dangerous. Look at how much they cater to the mobile companies' desires. Do we really want the determining what 'Net Neutrality' means.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          You'd prefer to have the companies themselves determining what 'Net Neutrality' means? That is the other option.

          • by JWW (79176)

            When you look at what the government is looking to require them to do in the name of "security" it may be the better option...

        • I still would rather have Congress and the FCC do nothing to change the net, then have them "do something."

          Darryl Issa, the sponsor this year of H.R. 3782: "Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act", isn't interested in Congress doing nothing to change the net. Even if he happens right now to be making an empty, symbolic gesture in that direction.

          The FCC is especially dangerous. Look at how much they cater to the mobile companies' desires.

          So much that every actual mobile operator is oppos

      • Darrell Issa strongly opposes net neutrality [theverge.com], with a Republican platform that supports some ironic thing called "internet freedom" [theverge.com]. Last year, Issa ripped into FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski [pcworld.com] at a Congressional hearing, accusing him of doing Obama's bidding regarding net neutrality (wtf?).

        Well, if Issa's bill wasn't an ineffective, substance-free gesture, and actually could magically prevent Congress from being able to pass legislation effecting the internet, it

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As net neutrality, from Congress, would be a new law, this would block net neutrality. And that's 100% of its purpose.

      • by fnj (64210)

        As net neutrality, from Congress, would be a new law, this would block net neutrality. And that's 100% of its purpose.

        Moderation of parent needed. +1, Insightful.

    • by guruevi (827432)

      There is already legislation AGAINST Net Neutrality so this would block any legislation repealing net neutrality and a host of other laws (unconstitutional searches, wiretapping, DMCA, ...).

  • So long as there are accompanying moratoria on new copyright bills, perhaps the /. crowd can get behind it.

    But as any patent examiner can tell you - adding the phrase "on the internet" to everything is all the rage these days. Would the passage of this bill mean that the next congressional session can't do anything, because everything is related to the internet? What about privacy protection, the upcoming FISA renewal, patent reform, etc.? Probably those are pressing areas, related to the internet,
    • by stms (1132653)

      It would probably be more helpful than hurtful if all bills had a 2 year waiting period before they can be passed. Sure some bad stuff would happen when we occasionally need something to be done quickly but it would give the people ample time to react to any bad bills like SOPA or The Patriot Act.

      • by fnj (64210)

        It pains me to insert a negative vibe, but I have no confidence whatsoever that this would do any good at all. I don't even think writing sunset provisions into laws would do any good. The federal government is in full runaway mode with no rescue in sight.

    • So long as there are accompanying moratoria on new copyright bills, perhaps the /. crowd can get behind it.

      Not me. We all need at least one new copyright bill: add an exemption to DMCA's anti-circumvention prohibition (and the associated manufacture/sale/etc part), to legalize non-copyright-infringing uses.

      Users need it, hardware and software industry needs it, and even the entertainment industry needs it (to increase media sales).

      Actually we need the whole anti-circumvention garbage totally repealed,

  • Sounds great... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BooRadley (3956) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:29AM (#42116065)

    Until you realize that this will also put a moratorium on things like privacy laws, as well as put a hold on any action regarding things like bandwidth caps, net neutrality, and copyright enforcement legislation. That may be good or bad, depending on how we're represented, but I'd rather have the debate in congress, rather than have them be forced to sit idly by while the incumbents go unchecked.

    • The Corruptman in question is against Net Neutrality. To force net neutrality, laws are needed. This guy wants to stop that. He wants unbridled and unchecked market forces to regulate the Internet.

      We know who the market it is, HINT: it ain't you and we know the market wants to destroy net neutrality. This corruptman isn't proposing a freeze, he is proposing government do nothing while business gets to do everything it wants.

      If you want to see if this is a good idea, fellow republican corruptmen forced the

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The Net Neutrality laws that have been proposed is just allowing three unelected FCC officals to determine what is allowed and what is not. Those three will be unanswerable to the people or Congress, it will basically put the internet under complete control of the executive branch to put in place any regulations they feel is needed.

        What you think of net neutrality is great, but I have yet to see any law proposed that promotes that. They just cleverly use the same name and assume you won't actually read wh

      • The donations to him from tech companies such as Google, who have an interest in an open Internet, are far more than donations from the telcos.

    • by Compaqt (1758360)

      Yeah, those are coming right up (sarc).

      The idea of a moratorium is great, seemingly opposed only by people who don't like Issa (who is admittedly anti net neut).

    • We have seen only the opposite of that proposed by Congress. Do you really think that the progressive democrats are about to suddenly start down your path (even though they haven't yet) and Issa is trying to beat them to it?

    • by argStyopa (232550)

      Well, internet crusaders need to figure out what the HELL they want.

      You cannot invite the government to be involved in every aspect of your life that you WANT them to, and then expect them to politely stay out of the bits you DON'T want them involved in. To expect anything else is at the very least naive.

      As famously said "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have. "

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:47AM (#42116201) Homepage

    They cry about their precious "Net Neutrality" even as this bill unconditionally outlaws...

    1) Data retention mandates.
    2) New surveillance powers, claims, etc.
    3) Any new intelligence community moves into further "securing the net" (think about that recent controversy over the NSA secretly claiming to "invade private networks")
    4) New powers to seize domain names or any thing else Hollywood wants

    Yeah, what a trade off. Give me some of that DoJDHSDoD Internet love any day so long as Verizon has to be 100% "fair and neutral..."

    • by eherot (107342)

      The trouble is, without net neutrality, we still get to live under the same spying, overbearing, over-regulating regimes, it's just that this regime happens to be a corporation instead of the government. At least we get to vote on the government.

      • The major ISPs have no desire to actually "spy on you." The worst they may do is run analytics on you to target advertising at you. Unlike with government, there are actually laws protecting you from some of this anyway. For example, if your ISP overrides my ads on my site or adds them, I can sue them for creating a derivative work.

        At least we get to vote on the government

        And when you lose the vote or the issue you want to vote on is never brought up for a vote, you don't get to opt out the way you do with

        • by geekoid (135745)

          False.
          They want to keep your data and resell it.
          Like most other corporation, they will use anything they can access to make money. Just like corporation will poison local water sources.

          ", you don't get to opt out the way you do with a relationship with a corporation"
          You never get to opt out of a relationship with a corporation. You can stop buying their products, depending,. But they will continue to use anything that have about you to make money anyway they can. You may not be active in the relationship, b

    • by dk90406 (797452)
      This the bill also outlaws laws that affect:

      1) Data Retention checks and privacy controls
      2) Removing surveillance powers, claims, etc.
      3) Reducing existing intelligence powers "securing the net" - (think the staggering amounts of warrant-less information requests sent today)
      4) Preventing doubtful domain name from existing players.

      Always look at the other side of the coin before buying it... And never take at political statement at face value.

    • The government has the right to secure the internet. The intelligence community has the right to monitor the internet.
      There should be no secrets kept hidden from the US military on the internet because that would empower terrorists to plan their attacks on the enemy against US troops.

    • They cry about their precious "Net Neutrality" even as this bill unconditionally outlaws...

      The bill doesn't really outlaw anything, since any bill regulating the internet would -- without even requiring a specific mention -- override this one exactly as much as necessary for the new bill to be given effect. This bill does nothing.

  • ...is like asking a Redditor to stop fapping.
  • by Doc Ruby (173196)

    Republican Issa's corporate sponsors evidently believe that they've got the Internet set up for whatever harvesting they might desire. So they're leveraging the small House majority (elected by a gerrymandered minority of House voters) they bought into eliminating the power of the Democratic minority, the significant Senate majority, and the reelected Democratic president.

    Darrell Issa has spent his career investigating and attacking Democrats. It's cost a fortune, halted government action, and turned up not

    • by Quila (201335)

      elected by a gerrymandered minority of House voters

      Gerrymandering goes on across the board. Both parties do it as much as they can. Have you seen Jackson Lee's district? Or the Illinois 4th? Those Democrats would not be in office if not for racist carve-outs. Of course some gerrymanders aren't for partisan political reasons. Arizona's famed 2nd looks funny because the Hopis and Navajos didn't want to be represented by the same congresscritter.

      Darrell Issa has spent his career investigating and attacking Dem

  • In the House of Representatives. I think Ebola and North Korea are more popular in the US right now.

    Maybe he really really means it this time. Based off his past, I highly doubt it or he's using this to get something else that's worse.

  • by medcalf (68293) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @10:39AM (#42116727) Homepage
    Now, instead of not passing laws, we're passing laws to not pass laws?
  • by rossdee (243626) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @10:39AM (#42116729)

    Hasn't Congress got more urgent important stuff to do? Like avoiding this fiscal cliff that everyone is talking about..

  • ...the Global Malware Authors Guild announced the formation of a new super-PAC...
  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @10:43AM (#42116779) Homepage

    skeptical of the paper's motives and credibility.

    Being skeptical of our government is among the most important patriotic duties of U.S. citizens. The Declaration of Independence is an impassioned ode to the enduring beauty of critical enquiry of the motives and actions of government. Regardless of how we feel about Rep. Issa, it is our duty to challenge his statements.

    a discussion draft

    One of my common complaints about the state of our government is that our elected officials, when addressing complex issues, focus more effort on directing public opinion than on fostering public debate. The goal of our leaders should be to bring the nation into the analysis, not to establish our conclusions. By presenting this as a provocative entree rather than a finalized declaration, he has given us a kernel upon which to found the discussion.

    For my part in that; I think a moratorium is a double edged sword. Authoritarian versus libertarian is only one dimension, another is organizational versus individual. It is possible to believe that individual rights to speak and associate freely on the Internet should be subject to less government authority and also that that organizations (lobbies, unions, corporations, religions) should be more limited in their permits to influence or monitor the behavior of individuals on the Internet. A moratorium could prevent the government from censoring individual speech, or it could give ISPs a two year foothold on selective restriction of online activities.

  • so it defiantly has some corporate backing to screw the consumers. probably for bandwidth caps, or prioritizing services.
  • Last night during dinner, a thief walked into my home and asked me whether or not he should put a moratorium on robbing me for the next 2 years.

    Just go away. Just leave us alone—now and forever!

  • by Jawnn (445279) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @10:59AM (#42117013)
    ...because you are being misdirected. Issa is as slimy as they come and a paid whore for the telecom industry. Among the many disservices he's done for his constituents was voting for retroactive immunity for the phone companies (all of them, save QWest) who held the bag while various agencies violated our rights and spied on us without judicial supervision. If he's putting something as radical as this in place, there's a reason and you can bet that it's not something that is good for us.
  • A moratorium on Internet-Americans? When will this country learn that diversity and immigration are its cornerstones? Millions of Internet-Americans are already here, they're not going anywhere, and growing their ranks is our only path to economic salvation!

  • he doesn't want corporation to be regulated on what they can do and say on the internet.

  • If Issa's behind it, it's not being done because it benefits the public. My guess is this bill's proposed for the same kind of reasons California's Proposition 33 on auto insurance rates was proposed. That proposition would've changed the law to permit insurance companies to offer lower rates to drivers who'd had insurance for more than a certain length of time. Sounds good, right? Here's the catch: California law already requires insurance companies to offer best rates based only on driving record, regardl

  • by Synerg1y (2169962) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @01:12PM (#42118765)
    Congress finally admitting they don't know wtf they're doing when it comes to technology & the internet. So in bureaucratic fashion they pass the problem on to their successor.
  • Congressmen submit legislation to publicize a cause or satisfy constituents. Most of it never emerges from committee. Most of the legistlation comes from big presidential/party initiatives. Then packed with amendments and earmarks.
  • I'm more concerned how certain ISPs have attempted to selectively throttle internet traffic and censore content over the last few years.
  • I'm willing to bet the main thrust (what with the R following his name) is to keep the FCC from effectively regulating the Verizon Wireless / AT&T duopolies - especially their usurous data rates and fantasy-based 'some ones and zeros are different than others' policies.
  • by Odin's Raven (145278) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @02:47PM (#42120321)
    Oh, those poor confused Republicans - even when they decide to do something, it's only to make sure that they won't do something.

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