For the first time, the Democratic and Republican Party have both included language in their 2012 platform that advocates a free and open Internet.
“This bi-partisan commitment is a huge victory for the Internet. We are thrilled that for the first time in history America’s two dominant political parties have explicitly stated their commitment to an open Internet,” David Segal, the executive director of Demand Progress, said Tuesday in a statement.
“That said, words are not enough,” he added. “Millions of ordinary Americans staged online actions over the last year to protect the ‘net, and we will continue to hold both parties to their promises over the coming months and years. It is clear that the Internet community is coming of age politically, and we will be paying close attention to which party works harder to implement these new party planks.”
Republican and Democratic members of Congress last year had pushed for the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which was decried by civil liberties advocates and Internet activists.
SOPA would have given the government broad powers to shut down websites accused of facilitating copyright infringement. But a massive online “black out” protest in January killed the anti-piracy legislation, forcing many of the bill’s sponsors to drop their support.
The Democratic Party Platform of 2012 says that, “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.” The platform also touts the Internet Privacy Bill of Rights proposed by Obama.
The Republican Party Platform of 2012 states, “We insist that there should be no regulation of political speech on the Internet.”
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