Somehow, with little fanfare, last week Rep. Zoe Lofgren (along with Reps. Eshoo, Matsui and Honda) introduced the Global Free Internet Act of 2013
, which appears to be a new version of a similar bill
from last year. You should read the full bill yourselves, but it points to the importance of a "single, open, global internet," as well as certain things that might threaten that. Among the things it lists are important, are that we, as a country:
(A) encourage utilization on a global basis of technology standards set by international standards-setting organizations, including industry-led and other voluntary bodies, and selected by the market;
(B) respect the security of information, privacy, and speech of Internet users;
(C) promote investment in Internet-related innovation;
(D) refrain from compelling Internet service providers and other intermediaries to restrict the free flow of information on the Internet; and
(E) allow trade in Internet-related goods, services, information, and content.
And it worries about governments seeking to censor or constrain the internet by doing any of the following:
(A) mandating unique technology standards favoring domestic producers as a condition of market access or pursuing related policies regarding standard-setting that are discriminatory and subvert the open, global nature of the Internet;
(B) sponsoring or tolerating the use of Internet-related tools to gain unauthorized access to public-sector and private-sector networks in the United States to disrupt their operation;
(C) blocking, filtering, or otherwise restricting Internet communications in a manner that discriminates against Internet-based services and content originating in other countries;
(D) monitoring Internet use and communications in a manner that restricts individual privacy and freedom; and
(E) imposing market access requirements or liabilities that discriminate against or otherwise impede Internet-related goods, services and content from other countries.
It then goes on to create a task force to take on these issues, and to help the government promote the first list, while avoiding the second. It seems like a perfectly reasonable plan, with little controversial about it, which is why I wouldn't be surprised to see Congress ignore it.