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Congressman pushes for two year ban on internet regulation


House Oversight And Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa questions members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission during a hearing December 14, 2011 in Washington, DC. In October the four commissioners sent a letter White House Chief of Staff William Daley expressing 'grave concerns' that NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko's deficiencies as a leader could compromise nuclear safety.


Chip Somodevilla

Following several failed attempts by the US Congress to govern the internet, one representative is looking to ban all attempts at internet regulation for a period of two years.

Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican, authored and released the Internet American Moratorium Act 2012 on Monday to a crowdsourcing platform known as Project Madison. Project Madison’s platform attempts to incorporate citizens into the law making process and enables them to amend portions of the draft language. 

“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,” reads the bill.

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Issa held a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session shortly after the release of his bill in an attempt to bring the internet to his side. 

“Often, government can exercise power without rulemaking. This draft plan gives people the power and time to pushback on that informal and rather unaccountable use of government power,” Issa said in his AMA. 

While Issa did stand in opposition to SOPA and PIPA late last year, he was a co-sponsor of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). While SOPA focused on enabling copyright holders and the US judiciary to fight what was deemed to be online piracy, CISPA centered on an information exchange between private companies and the US government to combat cyber security threats. 

Like SOPA and PIPA, CISPA faced a good deal of opposition from internet freedom activists and general online denizens. Given his support for CISPA, wary Redditors were quick to condemn Issa’s efforts as just another political PR stunt. 

“This just seems to me to be more cheap political theater, along the lines of Grover Norquists 'We will never ever ever raise taxes for any reason' pledge. Which, by the way, seems to be dissolving now that the political winds have shifted,” said one Redditor.

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