In an opinion piece on Politico, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA.) and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA.) make the case for open internet policies. They open the opinion piece by noting that both political parties have some language paying homage to the concept of a "free and open Internet" and explain what it all means in terms of what is going on in Washington. You may remember that Congressman Issa was at the forefront of fighting against SOPA when it was in committee.
While Issa and Eshoo note the differences between the Democrat and Republican platforms, they also point out that there are a lot of core ideas that unite both parties as well. They reiterate why they both signed the "Declaration of Internet Freedom," a document they describe as a "landmark document drafted by Internet advocates of all political persuasions" launched earlier this year. That document offers five key points essential to a free and open internet:
- Expression: Don’t censor the Internet.
- Access: Promote universal access to fast and affordable networks.
- Openness: Keep the Internet an open network in which everyone is free to connect, communicate, write, read, watch, speak, listen, learn, create and innovate.
- Innovation: Protect the freedom to innovate and create without permission. Don’t block new technologies, and don’t punish innovators for their users’ actions.
- Privacy: Protect privacy and defend everyone’s ability to control how their data and devices are used.
They go on to point out that over 50,000 people and 2,000 organizations (representing millions of people around the world) have signed onto this declaration.
They close by urging everyone - no matter what their political persuasion - to join in and sign onto this declaration. You can find it at www.internetdeclaration.org. The website also gives visitors a way to encourage both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to sign onto the Declaration via Twitter...
While there certainly are differences among Democrats and Republicans about how things like net neutrality and piracy should be dealt with, having some common ground is a good thing.