The name of one Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) recently appeared on a list of individuals endorsing the Declaration of Internet Freedom (screenshot), a document published last week by leading journalists, advocates and tech leaders that will form the basis of a coalition built to fight for the rights of Internet users everywhere.
Issa, a former tech entrepreneur himself, has previously joined Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) in calling for an Internet bill of rights, and he helped defeat the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) earlier this year.
On matters pertaining to Internet freedom, however, he is not a reliable vote, having cast a ballot in favor of the Cyber Intelligence Protection and Sharing Act (CISPA), which Wyden warned would create a “cyber-industrial complex” to feed on private user data. His appearance on the Declaration’s list of supporters may indicate that the fight for Internet freedom will not, in fact, break down purely along partisan lines.
Even more questions about potential Republican involvement in the Declaration arose when the Campaign for Liberty, a group affiliated with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), decided to produce a document that serves as a “counterpoint” to the Declaration. Taking a conservative, libertarian approach, the Campaign calls upon the government to take no action to protect free speech or privacy online, and instead let the network owners and operators do what they please.
And from the looks of it, Issa has chosen to land on the side of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Bill of Rights Foundation, Mozilla and Public Knowledge, all of which support the Declaration.
Reached for comment, an Issa spokesperson would not confirm or deny the congressman’s signature on the Declaration.