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US Congressman Wants To Ban New Internet Laws

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the not-sure-that-issa-good-idea dept.

Government 205

SchrodingerZ writes "Representative Darrell Issa, a Republican congressman from California, has drafted a bill for the internet. The bill, aptly named the Internet American Moratorium Act (IAMA), is, 'a two-year moratorium on any new laws, rules or regulations governing the Internet.' In short it hopes to deny any new government bills related to lawmaking on the internet for the next two years. The bill was first made public on the website Reddit, and is currently on the front page of Keepthewebopen.com, a website advocating internet rights. 'Together we can make Washington take a break from messing w/ the Internet,' Issa writes on his Reddit post. The initial response to the bill has been mixed. Users of Reddit are skeptical of the paper's motives and credibility. As of now, the bill is just a discussion draft, whether it will gain footing in the future is up in the air."

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1st! (2, Insightful)

deadweight (681827) | about 2 years ago | (#42115981)

A law to not make laws? Why not just not pass the laws you don't want?

Re:1st! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116073)

A law to not make laws? Why not just not pass the laws you don't want?

This prevents any laws from passing, even the ones Mr. Issa doesn't want to pass but others do. Hell, with this approach we can pass a variety of laws blocking laws on any and all issues, industries or activities. Congress hasn't done much of anything for a while now, so why not just pass a law that says they can't pass any laws about anything? Oh, that's right, they're doing a good job of that without such legislation.

Re:1st! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116291)

A law to not make laws? Why not just not pass the laws you don't want?

This prevents any laws from passing, even the ones Mr. Issa doesn't want to pass but others do

Actually, it doesn't. Congress can't make a law that binds Congress's lawmaking ability.

What this is about is being seen to do something while actually not doing anything. The measure won't pass but some members will climb on board and talk about it and get attention that they hope will build their personal reputations.

Re:1st! (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#42116435)

Congress can't make a law that binds Congress's lawmaking ability

Is that actually true? In the UK, Parliament can't pass laws that bind a future Parliament[1], but in this case he's only proposing a 2-year limit (i.e. for the duration of this Congress), so that wouldn't apply: they'd be voting to limit themselves, not future holders of their office. That said, wouldn't it be simpler to get 50% of the members of one of the houses to sign a pledge to vote against any such legislation?

[1] This raised some interesting constitutional issues when we signed the Treaty of European Union.

Re:1st! (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#42116557)

Yes it is true. Lawmakers can't tie their hands like this save by constitutional amendment. The power of Congress to pass laws is a fundemental aspect of the constitution.

Compare filibuster threats (2)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42117151)

Lawmakers can't tie their hands like this save by constitutional amendment.

In practice they can. For example, the rules of the U.S. Senate, readopted as each new class of senators is sworn in, require 60 percent assent for a "cloture" motion to proceed on a bill. Without cloture, the minority with 41 to 49 percent can threaten to "filibuster" the proceedings by giving hours of off-topic speeches.

Re:Compare filibuster threats (3, Insightful)

Derek Pomery (2028) | about 2 years ago | (#42117275)

That doesn't prevent the passage of laws, it just requires a supermajority of 60% to pass, which, if the legislation is heavily controversial, sounds like a good idea to me. Prevent the whole 51% dictating to 49% thing.

Not that different from needing a supermajority to override a presidential veto really, except it works even if the president is of the 51%
Just one more check.

Re:Compare filibuster threats (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | about 2 years ago | (#42117325)

A procedural obstruction is far different from a law blocking other laws.

Implement it as a procedural obstruction (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42117353)

A procedural obstruction is far different from a law blocking other laws.

Unless the law blocking other laws is implemented as a procedural obstruction. The 2-year limit and the fact that the House and Senate rules are up for renewal this January make it sound like that might be the case.

Re:1st! (4, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 2 years ago | (#42116591)

Yes, it's true, and blatantly obviously true. Congress is entirely capable of repealing any law, ergo any law that attempts to bind it is pointless.

Issa's basically wasting everyone's time for a "feel good" measure that's stupid on every single level.

Re:1st! (3, Insightful)

capnkr (1153623) | about 2 years ago | (#42116679)

It's better than what I have seen proposed - much less done - from the other side of the aisle top-down for the past four years, which in a nutshell has been increased meddling, decreasing privacy, a disturbing lack of transparency, and attacks on several of our basic rights.

These are all broken campaign promises, things that people voted certain folks into office over, "Hoping for Change", if I can borrow a slogan... It sure didn't!

Re:1st! (1)

Jetra (2622687) | about 2 years ago | (#42117423)

But, if they don't pass this law, wouldn't that give "Let's control the net" nutjobs a reason to pass things like SOPA, ACTA, and CISPA? I don't know if it specifically states in the constitution whether or not Congress can pass laws to limit themselves, so I highly doubt that they would not try it unless that's pretty much the only way. I'd rather see this pass than having to riot for the next four years while lobbyists try new, harsher tactics to put iron chains on the internet.

Re:1st! (1)

judoguy (534886) | about 2 years ago | (#42117295)

Issa's basically wasting everyone's time for a "feel good" measure that's stupid on every single level.

Works for me! I'd offer the bastards triple pay if enough would stay home and quit screwing us even more.

Re:1st! (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about 2 years ago | (#42116613)

wouldn't it be simpler to get 50% of the members of one of the houses to sign a pledge to vote against any such legislation?

Because, depressingly, politicians don't have to do anything they promise to (and frequently don't). An actual law carries a little more weight than a politician's word.

Re:1st! (1)

coinreturn (617535) | about 2 years ago | (#42116777)

Is that actually true? In the UK, Parliament can't pass laws that bind a future Parliament[1], but in this case he's only proposing a 2-year limit (i.e. for the duration of this Congress), so that wouldn't apply: they'd be voting to limit themselves, not future holders of their office.

No. If passed by the Lameduck Congress, it would bind the incoming Congress for two years.

Re:1st! (2)

Chalnoth (1334923) | about 2 years ago | (#42117069)

Why would you think that? The incoming Congress could simply add a single sentence to any bill stating that it repeals this one. Bam, moratorium over.

Re:1st! (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about 2 years ago | (#42117335)

Its partly true they can certainly make a law (A) that says they can't make laws but there is nothing to stop them from creating a law (B) that explicitly says it invalidates (A) and also does "some stuff".

So its really an exercises in making a statement and not much more.

Re:1st! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117399)

Congress can't make a law that binds Congress's lawmaking ability

Is that actually true?.

Sort of.
The power of Congress to pass laws is granted by the Constitution. Therefore any law that restricts that power is unconstitutional. Furthermore there would be nothing stopping Congress from repealing the law later (say as part of the first bill it would otherwise prevent.) However Congress also has the power to amend the Constitution (though the ratification process is more involved). If a Constitutional amendment limiting Congress' power to pass laws were made Congress would have to abide by it.

So Congress could limit Congress' power to pass laws but the method used in this article is several kinds of pointless.

Re:1st! (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about 2 years ago | (#42116733)

its not really a law. a moratorium is basically a collective agreement to focus on other things. and congress makes these sorts of collective agreements/resolutions regularly, typically at the begining of a new session (which would be right about now) as a way of deciding what they will work on for the next few years and how they will do it.

Re:1st! (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 2 years ago | (#42117541)

while techinically true, a deal can be made to have a morratorium of talk of internet regulation for two years.

Of course it'd be a non-binding agreement. Any theorhetical law that would come up could say "and the law banning internet laws is herby repealled", and it'd be done.

Re:1st! (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#42116533)

This law violates a fundamental notion that a legislature cannot be restrained by previous legislation. All a future bill would have to do is have a clause revoking this law and that is that.

Re:1st! (1)

redmid17 (1217076) | about 2 years ago | (#42117057)

This bill would only affect the current group of legislatures. That's why it is two years

Re:1st! (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | about 2 years ago | (#42117305)

Technically speaking, the "current" Congress is the Lame Duck Congress. The Congress that is in effect for the next 2 years is seated Jan 1 2013. So as long as this isn't voted on until after Midnight on Jan 1 2013, then it is indeed legal as it only binds the sitting Congress.

Personally, I am all for a Constitutional Amendment to keep the Internet free of regulation. I am also for a Constitutional Amendment stating that Congress may not delegate it's lawmaking ability to unelected bureaucratic government organs. As it stands now, it can do that, only the laws that come out of these organs are simply re-branded as "rules". Which is how the Internet would continue to be messed with even WITH Issa's law in place.

We HAVE to prevent any unelected officials from being able to make rules which act as de-facto laws. People making laws must be answerable directly to the people or the states. Thus, we need a Constitutional Amendment to do that.

Re:1st! (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 years ago | (#42117241)

exactly, this prevents both
a: things getting worse
and b: things getting better

given the fact that I would say things are worse overall lately, I would think this congressperson is messed up.

It’s a declaration of stability. (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 2 years ago | (#42116725)

Why spend time building something up when some capricious law is just going to tear it down or otherwise gimp it? Well, under this declaration, you know nothing is coming down the pike for the next 2 years.

Re:It’s a declaration of stability. (1)

deadweight (681827) | about 2 years ago | (#42116771)

Until I pass a law next week that says "all previous restraints are void" !

Re:It’s a declaration of stability. (1)

deadweight (681827) | about 2 years ago | (#42117011)

"Why spend time building something up when some capricious law is just going to tear it down or otherwise gimp it? " Isn't that pretty much all of human history except when you are either in the good graces of an unelected monarch/dictator or living someplace with no effective government?

Re:1st! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117315)

This is grandstanding. I don't think you can even have a law preventing other laws.

Re:1st! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117453)

The Republicans would also like to make a law denying the making of all executive orders for the next four years.
  This draft bill is probably just a draft brick thrown to the gears of the machine preparing the executive order on securing critical infrastructure relating to the internet, as the law shall not pass, probably.

My worry is... (4, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 2 years ago | (#42115983)

Will it help net neutrality, or will it be more designed to favor corporate profiteering and plundering at the public's expense?

Re:My worry is... (3, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 years ago | (#42116001)

Some from column A, some from column B. It would make it harder for the government to directly interfere in various ways, but would also make it harder for the government to enforce any kind of utility-style fair-access or net-neutrality rules (since those would be "regulations").

Re:My worry is... (2, Insightful)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#42116003)

Do you mean net neutrality, or 'Net Neutrality'? One is TCP/IP's 'fight for your life' fair approach, while the other is a political movement that undermines the internet while appearing to serve it, in much the same way that any bill making its way through Congress can be understood by taking the negation of its name.

Re:My worry is... (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#42116103)

It's just a typo. The actual name is "Net Neuterality".

Re:My worry is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116593)

You clearly have no idea what Network Neutrality is.

Re:My worry is... (5, Informative)

jellie (949898) | about 2 years ago | (#42116113)

Darrell Issa strongly opposes net neutrality [theverge.com] , with a Republican platform that supports some ironic thing called "internet freedom" [theverge.com] . Last year, Issa ripped into FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski [pcworld.com] at a Congressional hearing, accusing him of doing Obama's bidding regarding net neutrality (wtf?).

In short, Issa is a conservative Republican who has been on a mission to destroy net neutrality.

Re:My worry is... (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#42116165)

There's your answer. And this is what I was worried about. Locking down the rules with and without net neutrality are two very different things, and I wouldn't want to lock them down without.

Re:My worry is... (4, Insightful)

JWW (79176) | about 2 years ago | (#42116811)

I still would rather have Congress and the FCC do nothing to change the net, then have them "do something."

The FCC is especially dangerous. Look at how much they cater to the mobile companies' desires. Do we really want the determining what 'Net Neutrality' means.

Re:My worry is... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117551)

You'd prefer to have the companies themselves determining what 'Net Neutrality' means? That is the other option.

Re:My worry is... (1)

GLMDesigns (2044134) | about 2 years ago | (#42116937)

I thought he was a laissez-faire republican trying to limit government intervention.

Re:My worry is... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116409)

As net neutrality, from Congress, would be a new law, this would block net neutrality. And that's 100% of its purpose.

Re:My worry is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116483)

Yes, and then there's the poltical angle. For example, there would be no way to enforce retention of electronic records.

Besides, there's a certain amount of eavesdropping the government can already do, without warrant or due process.

As you have agreed and accepted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116545)

You read the TOS before signing up on any website, yes? You do.

You reap what you sow.

Re:My worry is... (0)

Jawnn (445279) | about 2 years ago | (#42117029)

If Issa is behind it, it's good for the telecom industry players who pull his strings.

So long as... (1)

necro81 (917438) | about 2 years ago | (#42115997)

So long as there are accompanying moratoria on new copyright bills, perhaps the /. crowd can get behind it.

But as any patent examiner can tell you - adding the phrase "on the internet" to everything is all the rage these days. Would the passage of this bill mean that the next congressional session can't do anything, because everything is related to the internet? What about privacy protection, the upcoming FISA renewal, patent reform, etc.? Probably those are pressing areas, related to the internet, that are in need or some action.

Re:So long as... (1)

stms (1132653) | about 2 years ago | (#42116085)

It would probably be more helpful than hurtful if all bills had a 2 year waiting period before they can be passed. Sure some bad stuff would happen when we occasionally need something to be done quickly but it would give the people ample time to react to any bad bills like SOPA or The Patriot Act.

Re:So long as... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116425)

And ample time to exploit the broken system that the bills are trying to fix.

Re:So long as... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116839)

So long as there are accompanying moratoria on new copyright bills, perhaps the /. crowd can get behind it.

Not if a Republican was authoring it. Then we would be hearing that they are only passing it to help big business and screw the little guy. It doesn't matter what they do, liberals are not interested in working with Republicans and will constantly just move the goal whenever the Republicans try. Look at immigration reform and now the tax increases. The Republicans are falling for an obvious trap when they try to moderate (you think they would learn not to trust democrats and break a tax pledge after the "read my lips" fiasco.)

Why should we care what this criminal wants? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116021)

The man has been arrested at least 3 times over the years for things like possessing an illegal weapon and stealing cars. How he got into politics is beyond me. Guess he figured there was an easier, and legal way to rob people.

Darrell Issa? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116057)

Any suggestion or idea coming from him has some hidden purpose.

I recommend veto.

Re:Darrell Issa? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116279)

Using OO terminology, Mitt Hassa ridiculous shill, but Darrell Issa ridiculous shill.

Re:Darrell Issa? (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | about 2 years ago | (#42116889)

Any suggestion or idea coming from him has some hidden purpose.
I recommend veto.

I love how progressives are willing to put partisanship aside...

I feel that way about Reid and Pelosi but I would not take the action you suggested.

Re:Darrell Issa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117075)

Any suggestion or idea coming from him has some hidden purpose.

I recommend veto.

Why? Because he's a republican?

Trolling, yes, but seriously, why? Seems like a good idea to me.

I propose a law preventing congress from doing anything for two years. Everything they do costs us more money. (Rant: Doing my health care open-enrollment this week, and my family deductible is now $12,000 - up from $600 - thanks to Obamacare! Who this shit is now "affordable" for, I have no idea.)

Sounds great... (5, Insightful)

BooRadley (3956) | about 2 years ago | (#42116065)

Until you realize that this will also put a moratorium on things like privacy laws, as well as put a hold on any action regarding things like bandwidth caps, net neutrality, and copyright enforcement legislation. That may be good or bad, depending on how we're represented, but I'd rather have the debate in congress, rather than have them be forced to sit idly by while the incumbents go unchecked.

Just look at his history (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#42116235)

The Corruptman in question is against Net Neutrality. To force net neutrality, laws are needed. This guy wants to stop that. He wants unbridled and unchecked market forces to regulate the Internet.

We know who the market it is, HINT: it ain't you and we know the market wants to destroy net neutrality. This corruptman isn't proposing a freeze, he is proposing government do nothing while business gets to do everything it wants.

If you want to see if this is a good idea, fellow republican corruptmen forced the government to step aside and let the financial industry do whatever it wants... how is that economy going US of A?

People say that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others. Well, tight government control is the worst of all systems to regulate markets. Except for all the other methods.

Always follow the money. Who is paying this guys salary? No, not you you silly voter. His election campaign fat cat jobs once he retires. YOU don't factor into his decision making, never have, never will.

Re:Just look at his history (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116311)

Yeah, you're no playing up to an agenda yourself? Give me a break. If you weren't you could do it without all the hyperbole and name calling.

Re:Just look at his history (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116369)

The Net Neutrality laws that have been proposed is just allowing three unelected FCC officals to determine what is allowed and what is not. Those three will be unanswerable to the people or Congress, it will basically put the internet under complete control of the executive branch to put in place any regulations they feel is needed.

What you think of net neutrality is great, but I have yet to see any law proposed that promotes that. They just cleverly use the same name and assume you won't actually read what they are proposing. It looks like their plan worked since you are for their bill and are against others who have actually read what was proposed.

Yes, let's follow the money (1)

Quila (201335) | about 2 years ago | (#42116703)

The donations to him from tech companies such as Google, who have an interest in an open Internet, are far more than donations from the telcos.

Re:Just look at his history (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117209)

I love how people rave against big industry but seem to think the answer is big government. What a bunch of fools you are.

Re:Sounds great... (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | about 2 years ago | (#42116421)

Yeah, those are coming right up (sarc).

The idea of a moratorium is great, seemingly opposed only by people who don't like Issa (who is admittedly anti net neut).

Re:Sounds great... (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | about 2 years ago | (#42116929)

We have seen only the opposite of that proposed by Congress. Do you really think that the progressive democrats are about to suddenly start down your path (even though they haven't yet) and Issa is trying to beat them to it?

Sha... right.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116071)

good luck with that...

I'm daily amazed the internet is still as free and open as it is. It's taking corporate and goverment quite a long time to put a lock on it and turn it into yet another channel showing amazingly stupid shows and ads.

But it can't last forever i'm afraid. We handed far too much power to the media companys and other corporate assholes on the planet. Eventually it's all going to get locked down. I'm guessing 'app stores' will be a huge part of that lockdown. Along with signed efi bios etc... Just a few pieces in what will eventually be just yet another tv. And the boogymen of pedophiles and pirates and identity theft will be in there too.

At least we'll still be able to turn it off.... Maybe. Maybe not... Your fridge and washer and microwave and car and phone and everything else will still be watching you citizen.

“So long as they (the Proles) continued to work and breed, their other activities were without importance. Left to themselves, like cattle turned loose upon the plains of Argentina, they had reverted to a style of life that appeared to be natural to them, a sort of ancestral pattern...Heavy physical work, the care of home and children, petty quarrels with neighbors, films, football, beer and above all, gambling filled up the horizon of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult.”
  George Orwell, 1984

Won't someone think of the Weeaboos? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116081)

I misread that link as Keep the weeaboo pen.

never trust a republican (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116117)

everything they do is ultimately aimed at helping the old rich stay rich.

Re:never trust a republican (1, Troll)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 2 years ago | (#42116181)

I have never understood how people come up with the idea that the goal of the Republicans is to help Democrats hold onto their wealth.

Re:never trust a republican (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116527)

For Republicans class solidarity is more important than party affiliation.

A Cap Hill staffer with a sense of humor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116133)

should slip this clause into the reconciled version: "This ban is effective the day before this bill is signed by the President of the United States."

This is pointless (1)

stewartjm (608296) | about 2 years ago | (#42116159)

Any legislation congress can pass, congress can repeal.

Walk like an Egyptian... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116169)

All encompassing sweeping laws can be dangerous, demand specific scope in your laws.*

* Works the same in programming.

Damn those redditors are stupid (4, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | about 2 years ago | (#42116201)

They cry about their precious "Net Neutrality" even as this bill unconditionally outlaws...

1) Data retention mandates.
2) New surveillance powers, claims, etc.
3) Any new intelligence community moves into further "securing the net" (think about that recent controversy over the NSA secretly claiming to "invade private networks")
4) New powers to seize domain names or any thing else Hollywood wants

Yeah, what a trade off. Give me some of that DoJDHSDoD Internet love any day so long as Verizon has to be 100% "fair and neutral..."

Re:Damn those redditors are stupid (2)

eherot (107342) | about 2 years ago | (#42116261)

The trouble is, without net neutrality, we still get to live under the same spying, overbearing, over-regulating regimes, it's just that this regime happens to be a corporation instead of the government. At least we get to vote on the government.

There is no "trouble there" (1)

MikeRT (947531) | about 2 years ago | (#42116477)

The major ISPs have no desire to actually "spy on you." The worst they may do is run analytics on you to target advertising at you. Unlike with government, there are actually laws protecting you from some of this anyway. For example, if your ISP overrides my ads on my site or adds them, I can sue them for creating a derivative work.

At least we get to vote on the government

And when you lose the vote or the issue you want to vote on is never brought up for a vote, you don't get to opt out the way you do with a relationship with a corporation. So yea, it's like totally the same....

Re:There is no "trouble there" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117257)

The major ISPs have no desire to actually "spy on you."

Oh lord, I haven't laughed so much in years. Reporting on my torrents, cutting my bandwidth if I'm using their competitors (you can't use Skype well, why not use OUR VOIP software?) Highly personal targeted advertisements... the list goes on and on.

They have EVERY desire to spy on you. It's a billion dollar industry. And they're beholden to no constitution, you can't vote them out, and they have a monopoly on the market. God knows why morons always want to take power from the government and place it in the hands of the explicitly unelected....

Re:Damn those redditors are stupid (2)

dk90406 (797452) | about 2 years ago | (#42116351)

This the bill also outlaws laws that affect:

1) Data Retention checks and privacy controls
2) Removing surveillance powers, claims, etc.
3) Reducing existing intelligence powers "securing the net" - (think the staggering amounts of warrant-less information requests sent today)
4) Preventing doubtful domain name from existing players.

Always look at the other side of the coin before buying it... And never take at political statement at face value.

The Bill is an Internet insecurity bill. (1)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#42117097)

The government has the right to secure the internet. The intelligence community has the right to monitor the internet.
There should be no secrets kept hidden from the US military on the internet because that would empower terrorists to plan their attacks on the enemy against US troops.

Asking a Congressman to stop making laws... (1)

TimHunter (174406) | about 2 years ago | (#42116231)

...is like asking a Redditor to stop fapping.

Corporate Anarchist (1, Flamebait)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 2 years ago | (#42116253)

Republican Issa's corporate sponsors evidently believe that they've got the Internet set up for whatever harvesting they might desire. So they're leveraging the small House majority (elected by a gerrymandered minority of House voters) they bought into eliminating the power of the Democratic minority, the significant Senate majority, and the reelected Democratic president.

Darrell Issa has spent his career investigating and attacking Democrats. It's cost a fortune, halted government action, and turned up nothing but empty headlines and a blowjob. How about a moratorium on Darrell Issa? I'm voting for that in 2014 by voting for a House Democrat. Only 17 more and Issa can't run anything but his mouth on Fox News.

Re:Corporate Anarchist (2)

Quila (201335) | about 2 years ago | (#42117067)

elected by a gerrymandered minority of House voters

Gerrymandering goes on across the board. Both parties do it as much as they can. Have you seen Jackson Lee's district? Or the Illinois 4th? Those Democrats would not be in office if not for racist carve-outs. Of course some gerrymanders aren't for partisan political reasons. Arizona's famed 2nd looks funny because the Hopis and Navajos didn't want to be represented by the same congresscritter.

Darrell Issa has spent his career investigating and attacking Democrats. It's cost a fortune, halted government action, and turned up nothing but empty headlines and a blowjob.

Well, there is that running guns to Mexico thing. Something's going on, enough for Obama's Attorney General to flat-out lie directly to Congress to cover it up. And then there's the administration's attempt to cover up and stonewall investigation of the the dropping of the Black Panther voting rights case. One DoJ lawyer, a former ACLU lawyer, was ordered not to testify and transferred to make it harder, and he had to eventually do it under whistleblower protection. You don't do things like that unless you're hiding wrongdoing.

The other side always says the investigations are a waste of money and resources -- because they don't like being investigated.

On moratoria (1)

tfocker4 (2750497) | about 2 years ago | (#42116259)

What if a moratorium was added, by default, to all but the most important laws the first time they were passed? This could make it mandatory to review the worth of a law after it has been in effect for a while. If deemed worthwhile, being passed a second time could make it permanent. Certainly this would have huge downsides, but many benefits. It might decrease the amount of stale legislation and could allow the benefits of hindsight to be incorporated into the second version of laws deemworthy of re-passing. But, it would significantly increase Congress' workload, likely causing them to be unable to get as much done, and there's no guarantee that "bad" laws wouldn't be passed a second time while "good" laws would. Anyway, just a thought.

Re:On moratoria (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116551)

That's a good idea. If it has become unpopular in that time (especially since actual implementation and effects are now known) it can be voted on more accurately the second time. As long as even a typo fix restarts the clock I'd support this system.

Even if it passes (1)

ZeroSerenity (923363) | about 2 years ago | (#42116349)

It won't do anything. All the next law in regulating (or not) the internet has to say is to null out the previous law somewhere in it and suddenly it's ineffectual.

Re:Even if it passes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116529)

Yup, and one of his aides probably told him that before the press conference. This story is a clown show.

ie: prohibit laws that would protect our internet (1)

amigabill (146897) | about 2 years ago | (#42116403)

Laws either require something, or forbid something. In the absence of a law on any particular topic, nothing is required, and nothing is forbidden, thus anything is allowed. So, in the absence of a law that would protect the internet from corporate trolls, they are allowed to put up as many profiteering tollbooths as they want, and take their steps to wreck the whole thing. If laws that would prohibit such maliciousness are disallowed, then we're screwed.

He's a Republican (1)

Enry (630) | about 2 years ago | (#42116417)

In the House of Representatives. I think Ebola and North Korea are more popular in the US right now.

Maybe he really really means it this time. Based off his past, I highly doubt it or he's using this to get something else that's worse.

Good work Issa, now do more (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#42116543)

Ok, this is good stuff, Issa, can you extend this bill to the real world?

How about a moratorium on all new laws in real world unless the law in question is a repeal of a previous law?

This would do good for everybody, for the economy, for society, for freedoms. All the laws that exist can be used against individuals, how about starting to repeal laws instead of adding them?

Doesn't /. recognise this truth for software code: less is more?

Removing code, refactoring existing code base and cleaning up is an important task if you want your software not to die from bloat eventually. This is just as true for laws and politics.

ermegerdturrrurest (1)

Korruptionen (2647747) | about 2 years ago | (#42116671)

To me, if the government is given the ability to call something it isn't in order to get what it wants, it will this section is what concerns me in this fashion: "(a) PRESIDENTIAL NOTIFICATION. - Upon notification to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, Intelligence Committees and Homeland Security Committees by the President of the United States, or his designee, of an existential threat to the Internet, the President may, for the purposes of addressing this threat, allow agencies to promulgate rules that have otherwise been suspended by this Act." Disagree with me, and you are a "terrorist". Have a nice day /. :)

So, it's come to this (2)

medcalf (68293) | about 2 years ago | (#42116727)

Now, instead of not passing laws, we're passing laws to not pass laws?

Congress (2)

rossdee (243626) | about 2 years ago | (#42116729)

Hasn't Congress got more urgent important stuff to do? Like avoiding this fiscal cliff that everyone is talking about..

Re:Congress (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117389)

No. Automatic cuts to their gorging by spending is a good thing.
Sequestration is the best thing that could happen to Congress.

And in related news.... (1)

GreenTom (1352587) | about 2 years ago | (#42116751)

...the Global Malware Authors Guild announced the formation of a new super-PAC...

Leading to Discuss v. Directing Opinion (3, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 2 years ago | (#42116779)

skeptical of the paper's motives and credibility.

Being skeptical of our government is among the most important patriotic duties of U.S. citizens. The Declaration of Independence is an impassioned ode to the enduring beauty of critical enquiry of the motives and actions of government. Regardless of how we feel about Rep. Issa, it is our duty to challenge his statements.

a discussion draft

One of my common complaints about the state of our government is that our elected officials, when addressing complex issues, focus more effort on directing public opinion than on fostering public debate. The goal of our leaders should be to bring the nation into the analysis, not to establish our conclusions. By presenting this as a provocative entree rather than a finalized declaration, he has given us a kernel upon which to found the discussion.

For my part in that; I think a moratorium is a double edged sword. Authoritarian versus libertarian is only one dimension, another is organizational versus individual. It is possible to believe that individual rights to speak and associate freely on the Internet should be subject to less government authority and also that that organizations (lobbies, unions, corporations, religions) should be more limited in their permits to influence or monitor the behavior of individuals on the Internet. A moratorium could prevent the government from censoring individual speech, or it could give ISPs a two year foothold on selective restriction of online activities.

its coming from a Republican..... (1)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | about 2 years ago | (#42116783)

so it defiantly has some corporate backing to screw the consumers. probably for bandwidth caps, or prioritizing services.

Re:its coming from a Republican..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117445)

Yeah and the other party does so much better... Neither party has anyone's interest at heart except those who donate the biggest amounts of cash.

http://stopthecap.com/2009/07/07/scam-nc-democrat-throws-consumers-under-the-bus-broadband-map-crayoning-350-million-taxpayer-dollars-flushed/
http://stopthecap.com/2009/09/21/north-carolina-rep-ty-big-telecoms-bff-harrell-resigns-under-ethical-cloud/

That is just 2 small examples of it. There are many examples from both sides doing this. You are playing a 'we vs they' game that they love you to play so they can keep on making you feel outraged and voting them back in to do whatever the hell they like. You are being played...

Btw that last example was the 'stupidest thing ever' when it was a democrat saying it. Then it was the best thing ever when a republican presented it. Then the other side, the democrats, then started calling it the 'stupidest thing ever'.

There is nearly no difference between the two parties other than who holds a majority right now. Both are up for sale to the highest bidder for 'campaign contributions'.

What a Coincidence! (2)

mfwitten (1906728) | about 2 years ago | (#42116807)

Last night during dinner, a thief walked into my home and asked me whether or not he should put a moratorium on robbing me for the next 2 years.

Just go away. Just leave us alone—now and forever!

Legislative Entrenchment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116897)

Dear Representative Issa,

Please Google "legislative entrenchment", and then resign for not knowing the basics of your own job.

Regards,
The Internet

Uh well.... (1)

briancox2 (2417470) | about 2 years ago | (#42116971)

Since any law trumps any preceding law covering the same topic, isn't this just a law that says, "we haven't passed any subsequent internet laws since the passing of this one"...?

Yo dawg (1)

ProzacPatient (915544) | about 2 years ago | (#42117001)

Yo dawg we heard that you like ban laws so we made a ban law to ban laws that ban.

Watch the other hand... (2)

Jawnn (445279) | about 2 years ago | (#42117013)

...because you are being misdirected. Issa is as slimy as they come and a paid whore for the telecom industry. Among the many disservices he's done for his constituents was voting for retroactive immunity for the phone companies (all of them, save QWest) who held the bag while various agencies violated our rights and spied on us without judicial supervision. If he's putting something as radical as this in place, there's a reason and you can bet that it's not something that is good for us.

This will not stand! (1)

matunos (1587263) | about 2 years ago | (#42117083)

A moratorium on Internet-Americans? When will this country learn that diversity and immigration are its cornerstones? Millions of Internet-Americans are already here, they're not going anywhere, and growing their ranks is our only path to economic salvation!

Don't be fooled (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#42117463)

he doesn't want corporation to be regulated on what they can do and say on the internet.

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