Policy

Democrats Commit to Unfettered Internet

9/04/2012 10:11 AM Eastern

True to the president's pledge on Reddit last week, the Democratic platform, released Sunday, Sept. 2, includes a strong Internet freedom plank.

"President Obama is strongly committed to protecting an open Internet that fosters investment, innovation, creativity, consumer choice, and free speech, unfettered by censorship or undue violations of privacy," according to the party platform.

The platform also includes a plug for the Administration's privacy Bill of Rights and its recommendation of a do-not-track mechanism, as well as for the president's goal of broadband build-outs.

"President Obama has committed to ensuring that 98 percent of the country has access to high-speed wireless broadband Internet access," the platform reads. Actually, the president's eventual goal is to have everybody connected. But the Administration did make 98% wireless access within 5 years a national priority.

Also on the Internet front, the platform talks about preserving leadership in the digital economy by "finding innovative ways to free up wireless spectrum and are building a state-of-the-art nationwide, interoperable, public safety network."

One way the administration is being encouraged to free up more spectrum -- it has already working on a plan for reclaiming broadcasters' spectrum -- is by reclaiming more government spectrum either by moving it to different bands or requiring more sharing of spectrum.

"The administration has built partnerships to support an Internet that is secure and reliable and that is respectful of U.S. intellectual property," the platform points out. " That shout-out for protecting content drew praise from Hollywood. 

"I am extremely pleased that the Democratic Party's platform language reinforces the critical importance of protecting America's intellectual property while ensuring the free flow of information on the Internet," said Chris Dodd, chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America. "The Internet is a nearly unparalleled source of creativity and innovation, not just in the entertainment community, but across nearly every sector of the U.S. economy. Protecting that source of creativity, as well as protecting the rights of the people behind that creativity, is integral not just to our economy, but to who we are as a nation."

The platform also talks about trying to pass legislation to require more disclosure in political ads. Several Democrat-led efforts to do so after the 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United have failed to gain traction.

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