Rep. Ro Khanna, California Democrat, proposes ‘Internet Bill of Rights’ requested by Nancy Pelosi

October 5, 2018

One of Silicon Valley’s representatives to Capitol Hill has drafted an “Internet Bill of Rights,” and lawmakers could be considering his proposed set of principles if Republicans lose their hold on the House of Representatives.

Rep. Ro Khanna, California Democrat, unveiled the proposal Thursday, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi indicated it could be put forward as legislation if Republicans lose control of Congress as a result of next month’s midterms.

“The internet age and digital revolution have changed Americans’ way of life. As our lives and the economy are more tied to the internet, it is essential to provide Americans with basic protections online,” Mr. Khanna said of his proposal.

“There’s great concern that Americans have about the protection of their privacy online and about their security online,” he told The Washington Post on Friday.

“They are looking to the United States Congress to help put together well crafted regulation to protect them in the cyber world.”

The proposal was first reported by The New York Times, where Mr. Khanna said he was tasked with the project earlier this year by Ms. Pelosi, California Democrat and former House speaker.

Ms. Pelosi said Democrats will push for action on the proposal if Republicans lose control of the House, The Times reported.

“Expanding access to a safe and secure Internet and protecting consumers remains a top priority for House Democrats,” Ms. Pelosi’s office said in a statement, The Post reported.

A lawyer and former member of the U.S. Department of Commerce during the Obama administration, Mr. Khanna, 42, was elected in 2016 to represent California’s 17th District, encompassing a portion of Silicon Valley hosting some of the nation’s largest tech companies.

Mr. Khanna based the proposed Internet Bill of Rights on a previous version pitched by the Obama administration in 2015, as well as input received during recent conversations with several former federal officials and representatives from companies including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Intel and Microsoft, his office said in a press release.

The proposal includes 10 items, including measures implementing net neutrality protections and federal data breach notification laws, among others, and has garnered the endorsement of Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web.

“I’m open to revisions and constructive criticism,” Mr. Khanna told The Post. “What I think is inexcusable is for Congress not to act.”

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