Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) introduced a new piece of legislation yesterday that, if signed into law, would prevent politicians from passing laws or regulations that might burden the Internet over the next two calendar years.
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.
Washington is not known for its ability to keep up with the pace of technological change. When asked if a two-year moratorium on new Internet regulations would only serve to leave Congress further behind the times, an Issa spokesman argued the contrary.
“One of the things that the [Stop Online Piracy Act] and [PROTECT IP Act] debate made painfully clear is that Congress passes many laws and agencies issue many regulations without having a full understanding of their impact,” said the spokesman. “Taking a pause from new laws or rules gives government a chance to catch up to the web, not fall further behind.”
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.
Rep. Issa previewed his proposal on Reddit, which was also posted on USENET newsgroups, and then participated in a question and answer session where he fielded inquiries from his online crowd. In one back-and-forth, the congressman remarked about how putting a hold on the United States’ attempts to introduce a never-ending array of Internet laws have implications well outside America.
“The people of the world who continue to enjoy an ever expanding pool of information and are empowered by the tools of commerce and communication, on the Internet and elsewhere,” Rep. Issa wrote. “If nothing else, this also gives a degree of certainty to Internet users, entrepreneurs and all Americans that nothing bad will come along in the next two years.”
Some critics have said having no laws might not be as smart as having good laws, but a spokesperson for Rep. Issa suggests Congress still needs to get their act together before they can progress that far.