Should California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa get his way, the federal government could get a two-year timeout from creating new laws affecting the Internet.
Issa’s bill, the Internet American Moratorium Act (IAMA), would place a two-year moratorium preventing Congress and the executive branch from creating “new Internet regulations or burdens added by the U.S. Congress and the Obama Administration.”
“The purpose of the two-year moratorium is to engineer a cooling off, a learning and bridge-building time for everyone — from lawmakers and regulators to Internet users and the content industry,” an Issa spokesman told The Daily Caller.
Congress cannot make laws that bind itself, and two years is the length of a congressional session. If the bill only pertained to the executive branch, the moratorium could be indefinite.
The current draft of the bill also contains a national security exemption, which allows the president — after notifying Congress — to allow executive branch agencies “to promulgate rules that have otherwise been suspended” by the Act in order to address what could be considered an “existential threat to the Internet.”
According to a media advisory from Issa’s office released Tuesday, Issa posted a draft of the bill to his open legislation website, Madison, on Monday “to facilitate collaborative development of the bill between now and the beginning of the 113th Congress in January 2013.”
Issa is also holding court Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. EST on Reddit – a user driven social news site — via a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” thread to seek user input on the development of the bill.
Issa himself is a regular Reddit user. His thread, which was posted early Tuesday afternoon, had 299 comments from Reddit users within only two hours.
Issa has offered his own credentials as an engineer, tech entrepreneur and tech-policy advocate as proof of his good intentions to defend the Internet. He emphasized his experience in a recent oped in TechCrunch.
The tech community, however, is largely skeptical of Washington, and Reddit users are not afraid to only express their disgust for his conservative positions and voting record.