Anti-SOPA, PIPA lawmakers want Internet Bill of Rights

Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Darrell Issa say they want a Bill of Rights to protect Web users against censorship and those that would limit their online freedoms.

Rep. Darrell Issa (left) and Sen. Ron Wyden tell the audience at the Personal Democracy Forum that an Internet Bill of Rights would protect users from censorship. Click on the photo to watch tape of the interview. Screenshot by Greg Sandoval/CNET

The two lawmakers who spearheaded a protest in January against controversial antipiracy legislation said today that they want the country to adopt an Internet Bill of Rights.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), said today at the Personal Democracy Forum 2012 in New York that the country needs a way to guarantee citizens their Internet freedoms.

"What we need is a way to measure how we're going to ensure the voice of [Internet] networks is protected," Wyden said during an interview the two lawmakers gave to Andrew Rasiej, an entrepreneur and founder of the Personal Democracy Forum.

Issa listed some of what he and Wyden would like to see in a Web Bill of Rights.

Such a document would state that all Internet users:

--Have the right to use the Web ("Freedom")
--Have the right to use the Web without censorship or obstruction ("Open")
--Should be treated equally while using the Web, an obvious nod at Net Neutrality ("Equality")

Issa and Wyden want to make sure that the victories against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) -- antipiracy legislation that was heavily supported by the film and music sectors -- aren't eroded or picked apart over time via other pieces of legislation.

The two lawmakers are coming off a stunning triumph when they helped lead what came to be massive opposition to SOPA and PIPA. The two said they don't have a completely formed plan about how the Bill of Rights will look but that they are encouraging Internet users to help supply ideas at Opengovfoundation.org.

 

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