Rep. Issa Crowdsourcing Discussion Of Two Year Embargo On Internet Regulations

from the punt dept

We've been hearing rumors of this for a few weeks, but Rep. Darrell Issa has released a draft version of his Internet American Moratorium Act (there's a joke in that name for you Reddit folks...) and appropriately (see previous parenthetical) he's doing an IAMA session on Reddit to crowdsource ideas for the bill, a la Rep. Zoe Lofgren's recent Reddit discussion concerning a bill to stop the US government from seizing domain names without a prior adversarial hearing. And, of course, he's also put the bill on his Madison legislative crowdsourcing platform, so people can discuss it there as well. The key section of the draft bill is the following:
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.
Considering the worries that many of us have about bad regulations impacting the internet, you can understand how this might be appealing, but we should at least be careful of any potential unintended consequences, concerning how it might limit good bills to fix bad laws already in place. The language above appears to try to avoid that -- as it clearly allows for fixing some existing legislation so long as it doesn't create new requirements for individuals or companies, but even that could get in the way of potentially useful legislation. Not that I'm recommending this per se, but what if there is an effort to "fix copyright" by going back to a system of requiring registration to get a copyright, rather than automatically placing it on all works once fixed. There are other issues with such a proposal (mainly the Berne Convention), but let's say it was legitimately considered -- and it is an idea that many have suggested would solve a segment of the problems with today's copyright law. Yet, I could see how this moratorium would block that as imposing "additional requirements" for "individuals or corporations engaged in activities on the internet."

Also, as I'm sure some will point out, there is a slight oddity in having Congress pass a law to say that it won't do something else, and Congress could always then just pass another law rescinding the original law (or overriding it with a bill that ignores it). However, such Congressional moratoriums often are useful in at least establishing a baseline and getting Congress to avoid wading into certain waters. So I'm not necessarily against the moratorium, but I worry that it could lead to unintended consequences that don't just prevent bad laws from being passed, but also might prevent good fixes to current law from passing as well.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 7:35am

    So I'm not necessarily against the moratorium, but I worry that it could lead to unintended consequences that don't just prevent bad laws from being passed, but also might prevent good fixes to current law from passing as well.

    I wonder how this affects things like the Internet Bill of Rights? Looks like more pandering by a slimy politician.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 7:40am

      Re:

      As opposed to the pandering done by MOST politicians? In the form of accepting political contributions/donations by companies with vested interest in this or that? Like oh say the MPAA and RIAA.

      This at least is something being done with the public interest relatively in mind, as opposed to pretty much everything else that gets done by Congress and the various politicians/lobbying groups.

       

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        jupiterkansas (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 8:18am

        Re: Re:

        The Republicans got slammed in the election. In two years, he's hoping they can win back some seats and have a stronger position. This legislation is to hold back Democratic legislation.

        It also means "let's keep the bad laws just the way they are"

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 9:01am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Love it, some one trys to do something and get actual input from the people on a bill that effects them and you HAVE to make it about party and drown it in that garbage.... F.. BOTH PARTIES and your pathetic attempt...

           

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            jupiterkansas (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 10:19am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I don't see how refusing to let congress pass any laws until the next election is benefiting anyone, but I'm happy he's open to public input. Let's hope it's more enlightening than Obama's lousy AMA.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 10:57am

          Re: Re: Re:

          This congress can't get together as a group and pass a law that prevents the next congress from passing specific kinds of laws. For reasons that should be obvious.

           

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    Jeremy, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 7:41am

    Issa might just be trying to gain attention

    The whole point of this bill might just be to keep the issue alive and in the face of Issa's republican colleagues. At least some Conservatives realize that internet freedom is an issue they are on the same side as the general electorate on. The liberals in the U.S. are all in bed with the major content providers. So it's possibly a major election issue whether or not the Republicans can appear to be on the side of internet freedom.

    It's likely pure politics, nothing serious for internet users.

     

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      gorehound (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 7:46am

      Re: Issa might just be trying to gain attention

      I am a Liberal and I am not in bed with Major Content Providers.I Boycott all Big Content MAFIAA and am proud of standing by my guns.
      I would not trust Issa.He might have a decent idea but I have watched him and read him in News, ETC and am not happy with what I have mostly seen.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 7:53am

    3 options

    get rid of all laws concerning the internet

    get rid of politicians that keep trying to fix what they fucked up concerning the internet in the first place

    let those that truly understand today's technology, the internet and how the 2 work together and how they can benefit everyone sort out what ignorant politicians with too much power and not enough understanding (or big enough ears to listen) have managed to screw up, mostly through fear of losing the control their positions gave them over ordinary people

     

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      DannyB (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 7:58am

      Re:

      Those should not be 3 options.

      ( ) get rid of all laws concerning the internet
      (o) get rid of politicians that keep trying to fix...
      ( ) let those that truly understand today's technology...

      They should be three checkboxes. And all of them checked.

      [x] get rid of all laws concerning the internet
      [x] get rid of politicians that keep trying to fix...
      [x] let those that truly understand today's technology...

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 9:39am

        Re: Re:

        Yes, let's do that. That way I can steal all the money out of your bank account via your bank's website.

        "I did it on the internet so it's ok!!!"

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 9:02am

      Re:

      get rid of all laws concerning the internet

      so you oppose net neutrality?

       

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 8:09am

    Why two years? Because then Republicans might be in a better position than they are now to pass legislation.

    Don't trust his stated motives.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 8:12am

    What they should do is make a law requiring all discussions related to internet-related legislation, disclosure of lobbyist proposals, and a requirement that the public be given a full review and comment period before action is taken.

    Here in Upstate NY, Hydro-fracking is on hold because the governor is actually letting the public weigh in on whether it wants to have fracking or not, giving it time to review various health and pollution studies. This, of course, has the oil and gas industry in a state of constant whining.

    I'm personally neutral on the issue of fracking, but I'm glad the governor is letting the public weigh in. It would be really refreshing if they did that with the internet.

     

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 8:19am

    Preserving status quo is picking pirates to win.

    I'm sure Mike wouldn't want Megaupload dealt with legally, either.

    This is probably futile as the moneyed interests in favor of sweeping changes are likely to overcome "don't just do something, sit there!" Inaction never goes over big in politics.

    By the way, if anyone has wanted me to eat crow on wrong prediction for SOPA passing, yot, simply wrong, didn't at all figure in Google's mis-leading pose as champion of freedom, though should have, it's their trademark. But the same forces are still going.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 8:46am

      Re: Preserving status quo is picking pirates to win.

      "Preserving status quo is picking pirates to win."

      Actually, preserving the status quo would be picking and choosing the copyright holders (not necessarily creators) side to win.

      And doing so by any means necessary. Ranging from violating due process by any means necessary (as has happened with Megaupload), violating the rights of citizens (invading their privacy, attempting to circumvent their rights to due process by sending out "settlement", a.k.a. EXTORTION, letters, and so on and so forth), and various other things.

      But yeah, isn't it hilarious how hypocritical you are? One moment you're lambasting Google. The next you're demanding that not enough is being done to protect the entertainment industries, and you're advocating for anything and everything to be done (legal or illegal) to stop those evil pirates and protect the profits of said industries. You flip flop as is convenient to your "fight" against Mike and Techdirt in general. Namely, you hate Google, you hate Mike/Techdirt and you hate pirates. So any chance you can rant and rave against any of those three you take, and you'll side with anyone who shares a similar view of those three as you.

      "I'm sure Mike wouldn't want Megaupload dealt with legally, either."

      What you're sure and not sure of is laughable, and more often than not as wrong as can be. Mike has specifically stated that he wants Megaupload dealt with legally, writing article after article pointing out all the gross violations done to due process in an attempt to railroad Megaupload. Attempts which all those outside of the U.S. have seen for what they were, the U.S. government bowing to the entertainment industry's whims.

      I'm not even going to bother responding to the rest of your post because quite honestly, it makes no sense. I have read it and read it again and read it a third time and it's like there's almost some kind of point attempting to be made, but it's seriously lost on me. I mean I can see it's written in English and I know all those words, but they make no sense whatsoever.

      Seriously, if you stopped for a moment to deal with the hardon you have for Google and Mike, you just might be able to get your point across in a reasonable and sane manner. But then again, that would pretty much go against everything you've stated over the past few weeks. Namely, that you don't read the articles but have canned responses already prepped and waiting to be copy/pasted into the comments on various articles (namely, you write rants and if you see in the headline or first few sentences of an article a word that matches something your rants, you just copy/paste what you have ready and waiting, even if it's completely irrelevant). That and you've also admitted to just being a troll and coming here not looking to have any type of adult discussion, but just want to rile people up. And so on so forth.

      Here's an idea. Get a fucking life. Have a drink. Get laid. Etc. But fucking do something with your life besides trolling Techdirt. It's really quite pathetic and speaks volumes to the type of person you are and what type of live you lead (or better said, DON'T LEAD).

      I hope the lions get you on Lion Day. In addition to bob. The world would be better off. Just saying.

       

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 8:26am

    Zoe Lofgren is working on legislation for sane rules for domain seizures and copyright reform. This would put all that on hold for two years.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 11:52am

      Re:

      Zoe Lofgren is working on legislation for sane rules for domain seizures and copyright reform. This would put all that on hold for two years.

      Not necessarily. As long as her domain seizure rules only impacts the government, and doesn't put any new rules on companies, it wouldn't be effected, under the current draft.

       

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    Adrian Lopez, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 8:57am

    Adversarial hearings

    Mike,

    You often mention adversarial hearings in the context of domain name seizures, but what about proper trials? Shouldn't domain name owners get the benefit of a trial when facing domain name seizures or similar suppressive "remedies"? Without a proper trial, what would be the burden of proof and the avenues for appeal?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 9:35am

    More slimeballs trying to carry water for the mega-corporation Google.

    Cuz ya know, they're not hauling in enough billions of dollars already...

     

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