Rep. Darrell Issa Seeks Input On New Bill From RedditBy: Zach Walton - November 27, 2012
Rep. Darell Issa has been one of the few guys in government that Internet freedom fighters actually like. He’s been very outspoken in regards to SOPA, and co-sponsored its alternative – the OPEN Act. He now has a new bill in the works, and wants the Internet to help him craft it.
The new bill from Rep. Issa is called The Internet American Moratorium Act, or IAMA. The name is intentional as Issa has set up an AMA on the Technology sub-reddit seeking input from its readers. For now, the AMA just features a link to the proposed bill in question. Issa wants Internet users to read through it and post their thoughts in the comments today. He’ll start an AMA tomorrow morning at 10:30 to directly engage with Reddit.
The purpose of Issa’s IAMA bill is to prevent the legislative or executive branch from proposing any Internet regulation for the next two years. The bill has two obvious advantages. For one, it would give people time to craft a bill that actually took Internet users’ rights into account. Current bills are more like knee-jerk reactions to issues that aren’t as big as lobbyists claim. Secondly, it would force Congress to stop wasting time with Internet regulation, and instead focus on matters of more importance.
Before the AMA starts tomorrows, citizens can start making changes to the bill today. The current IAMA bill is being hosted on the same crowdsourcing platform that Issa had built for discussions on his OPEN Act. It allows users to directly edit the bill along with the others while adding notes on why they made a specific change. Users can also highlight parts of the bill and ask what they mean.
It should be noted that this isn’t the first time that Issa has taken to Reddit. The congressman did an AMA about eight months ago that featured questions ranging from his stance on Internet regulation to his own private investments before entering Congress. At that AMA, Issa was quiet on a lot of important, but politically taboo, subjects. His latest AMA will be focused solely on his new bill, but you can expect some people to bring these questions up again.
Regardless, Issa’s AMA should be interesting. His previous AMA drew over 2,000 comments and over 1,000 upvotes. In comparison, Zoe Lofgren’s recent attempt at seeking Reddit’s input didn’t fare so well. She only received 118 comments, and 498 upvotes. Granted, she posted in the politics sub-reddit, and her past doesn’t raise quite as many flags as Issa does among Redditors.