Congressman Wants Two Year Ban On Internet Legislation
November 29, 2012

Internet American Moratorium Act Proposed By Congressman Issa

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

Yesterday, California Republican Congressman Darrell Issa proposed a draft bill with intent to protect the Internet.

Issa´s bill doesn´t encourage moving forward, such as installing high-speed fibers in rural areas or building Wi-Fi networks for whole cities. Issa´s draft bill also doesn´t stymie the progress of the Internet by proposing harsher punishment for copyright infringement or allow big corporations to govern and own entire sections of the Internet. Instead, Congressman Issa´s bill is more neutral than these options, proposing the US Government not even discuss bills about the Internet for 2 years.

The Internet American Moratorium Act (IAMA), should it be passed, would prevent the House of Representatives and Senate from passing any new legislation for 2 years, beginning on the date the bill became enacted. After 90 days of IAMA´s enactment, no Department or Agency of the United States would be permitted to publish any new regulations, finalize any new orders or enforce these orders for 2 years.

Issa has written in an exemption clause for President Obama, giving POTUS the power to suspend this act in the case of an Internet emergency.

Issa posted this draft bill on Monday to Project Madison, a crowdsourcing platform which allows citizens to view and amend particular parts of proposed legislation. On Wednesday morning, Congressman Issa also conducted an AMA, or Ask Me Anything, to field questions about this proposed draft bill. AMAs are open forums wherein a celebrity or person of interest allows Reddit users to ask them questions about anything.

Issa´s AMA garnered over 24,000 comments and questions, scanning the gamut from open debate to outlandish statements, as per usual with Reddit.

“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,” said Issa during his AMA.

“This is the case today both domestically and internationally.”

President Obama also conducted an AMA this summer in the months leading up to his reelection.

Submitting himself to Reddit users is an obvious attempt to pander to these tech-savvy citizens, not all of which are American. Redditors, and indeed a majority of those who make their living from the Internet, hotly opposed previous bills to introduce heavier web regulation, such as CISPA, PIPA and SOPA. As such, many of the Redditors asked Issa questions about his stance on these bills. Many also wondered if taking a break altogether was the best way to solve any issues.

“After SOPA and PIPA (the Senate's similar Protect Intellectual Property Act), it became very clear that we needed a cooling-off period to figure out a better way to create policy that impacts Internet users, job creators and all Americans,” explained an unnamed spokesperson for Issa to CNN.

“The intent of this law is clear — it is to stop both formal regulations and administrative actions that warp and change to fit a particular circumstance,” responded Issa in his AMA.
“Often, government can exercise power without rule-making.”