H.R. 6530 – Global Free Internet Act of 2012 (Companion Bill to H.R. 6529 Introduced by Rep. Zoe Lofgren / D-CA on 09/21/2012)


H.R. 6530 -- Global Free Internet Act of 2012:

The Global Free Internet Act of 2012 would establish a formal process in the U.S. government for evaluating policies that pose threats to Internet users and online services. The goal of the bill is to ensure greater access to information for Internet users and a more open global marketplace for Internet-related goods and services.

Today, actions by foreign governments, international bodies, and the U.S. government itself sometimes create risks to the global free flow of information, international trade in Internet-related goods and services, and the technical standards that underpin the Internet. Some of these risks include censorship of online content, country-specific technology standards that would make it difficult for computers to communicate with each other, and burdensome requirements for market access.

The Global Free Internet Act would create a Task Force on the Global Internet that identifies, prioritizes, and develops 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. Members of the Task Force include the heads of several executive branch agencies, four U.S. persons nominated by Congressional leadership, and four U.S. persons who are not government employees nominated by the Internet itself. The Task Force would hold public hearings, issue reports no less than annually, and coordinate the activity of the U.S. government to respond to threats to the Internet. When the next SOPA-like legislation, restrictive international trade agreement, or overbroad treaty from an international body becomes a threat, it is the job of this Task Force to sound the alarm and propose a course of action.

Advancing Internet freedom principles:

The Internet is a thriving component of our economy and a vibrant engine of our culture. It has been so successful because it empowers users with the ability to share content and information globally with limited restrictions. This Bill along with companion Bill H.R. 6529 (ECPA 2.0) will go a long way to protecting Internet users’ privacy and free expression, preserving user trust in online services, and ensuring that the path for growth for Internet-related businesses remains clear.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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