With a background in computer engineering, Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana’s 1st district and recently elected chairman of the Republican Study Committee, was an excellent choice to give a keynote speech today at the State of the Net conference.
"Internet freedom should be the policy compass of the 113th congress," he said and "we should remember what we said in Dubai at the World Conference on International Communications (WCIT) here in the United States."
The internet was designed by engineers and is governed by a complex group of stakeholders which prevents government intrusion and meddling. The internet has flourished because the government hasn’t figured out a way to regulate it.
The International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) expertise is in telephone line regulation, he noted, and techoed Commissioner McDowell's sentiments that we do not want to apply the archaic regulatory structure that has been used on phone companies to the internet.
Rep. Scalise reiterated that we should build on our bipartisan efforts keeping government out of the internet at the international level here on the federal level.
He noted that 21% of growth in modern economies is due to the internet and economic growth in the high tech sector beats out other major sectors of the economy 3 to 1.
Regulators need to think about how to keep the internet as a place for more economic growth. A majority of the major internet companies have been born in America due to a policy and legal system that has been largely deregulatory and internet friendly.
Rep. Scalise said “if you prize internet freedom then don’t le the government break the internet.”
Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, agreed and said "Rep. Scalise gave an entergetic argument in defense of stopping the United Nations or other governments from seizing control of internet governace."