EXCLUSIVE: GOP Platform includes Internet Freedom, language indicates influence of Rand Paul and libertarian-Republicans

Republicans could soon champion the protection of Internet Freedom as an official party issue, The Daily Caller has learned. Language in the final draft of the Internet freedom proposal was obtained exclusively by The Daily Caller.

The language was finalized on Tuesday, a source in the Republican Party told The Daily Caller, but it awaits party approval next week at the upcoming Republican National Convention.

Approval of the newly finalized draft language, however, would make the party the first of the two dominant political parties to fully and officially embrace Internet freedom. It also signals what Republicans view as important and necessary to keep the Internet open and free.

“Internet Freedom”, according to the finalized draft language, would entail the removal of “regulatory barriers” for technology businesses, resistance to international governance of the Internet and the “constitutional protection” of personal data.

“We will remove regulatory barriers that protect outdated technologies and business plans from innovation and competition, while preventing legacy regulation from interfering with new technologies such as mobile delivery of voice and video data as they become crucial components of the Internet ecosystem,” said the finalized draft.

“We will resist any effort to shift control away from the successful multi-stakeholder approach of Internet governance and toward governance by international or other intergovernmental organizations,” it said.

“We will ensure that personal data receives full constitutional protection from government overreach and that individuals retain the right to control the use of their data by third parties,” it said.

Progressive and Democratic proponents of a regulation-laden approach to the Internet have long dominated the direction of the tech policy discussion in Washington.

Having tried to make a claim over the term with their own brand of freedom from corporate influence over the Internet, some progressive and left-leaning libertarian advocacy groups have even gone so far as to promote a Declaration of Internet Freedom that codifies those principles.

Republicans have only recently ramped up efforts to dominate the conversation in bold fashion in recent months.

The GOP efforts are currently being modeled on the recent stance taken by the Ron Paul-founded Campaign For Liberty’s Technology Manifesto, as well as more right-of-center libertarian tech policy voices.

These voices include TechFreedom president Berin Szoka, Mercatus Center senior research fellow Adam Thierer, Associate Director of Technology Studies at the Competitive Enterprise Institute Ryan Radia, and Netcompetition president Scott Cleland.

It is also modeled off of the efforts of Republican politicians in both chambers of Congress.

California Republican Representatives Mary Bono Mack and Darrell Issa, Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Oregon Republican Rep. Greg Walden, Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul and Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton are some of leaders in the House on Internet issues.

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul have led Republican efforts in the Senate.