Lofgren introduces legislation to protect free expression of internet users and an open global marketplace

March 4, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) introduced legislation today to preserve the structural foundation of the Internet, bolster Internet commerce, and protect the free expression and privacy of all Internet users.

The Global Free Internet Act – a part of Lofgren's Internet Freedom and Innovation legislative agenda – would create a task force to identify, prioritize, and develop a response to policies and practices of the U.S. government, foreign governments, or international bodies that deny fair market access to Internet-related goods and services, or that threaten the technical operation, security, and free flow of global Internet communications.

"The Internet has been a spectacular success because it lowers barriers to free exchange and access and empowers people to connect and share information, which results in greater cultural exchange and economic growth," said Lofgren. "For the Internet to remain a powerful platform for innovation and prosperity, it is essential we address undue restrictions on Internet commerce and the global free flow of information."

State governments and international bodies have, at times, promulgated threats like censorship of online content, country-specific technology standards that hinder interconnectedness, or burdensome requirements for market access. Recent examples include U.S. legislation such as SOPA, which would have broken secure DNS – or China's recent attempts to require security backdoors into financial products.

The Task Force would hold public hearings, issue reports, and coordinate the activity of the U.S. government to respond to such domestic and international threats to the Internet.

Original cosponsors of the Global Free Internet Act include Silicon Valley Reps. Anna Eshoo (D- Calif.) and Mike Honda (D-Calif.).

Click here for a section-by-section summary of the Global Free Internet Act.

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