GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul has spoken out against government regulation of the internet in a video Breitbart Tech can exclusively share with readers.
“One of the great things about the internet is that it’s been an engine of job creation, it’s been an engine of innovation,” says Paul in the video, which was filmed by nonprofit group Protect Internet Freedom. “Rarely do you get an industry that pops up out of nothing and becomes a great engine for American jobs.”
He went on: “Calling it a utility and getting the government involved is exactly the wrong thing to do.”
In an apparent jab at the current Republican frontrunner, Paul added: “I’d like to keep the government out of the internet completely, and it worries me when people come forward, who was it, that guy, Trump, yeah, Trump comes out and says oh we just need to close that little thing the internet down.
“That worries me, and it worries me even more that [inaudible] consider voting for someone who wants to close the internet. The internet is sort of the equivalent of a means for the First Amendment. The First Amendment is about speech, the internet is about speech, and I don’t think we ought to be considering any candidate that wants to put impediments to freedom of speech.”
“[I’m] absolutely opposed to having the internet considered to be a utility,” Paul said in response to a question about the Obama administration’s invocation of Title II rules from the 1930s to regulate the internet. “I will undo every bit of it he’s done through executive order, and I would try to keep the government’s tentacles and overreach out of the internet.”
Protect Internet Freedom, which boasts 1.6 million members, told Breitbart Tech: “We believe a unanimous consensus on the importance of protecting real Internet freedom, unfettered by government interference, sends a powerful message that we won’t stand by and allow Washington to turn the vibrant empowering Internet into a neutered government agency.”
Jerri Ann Henry, Public Advocate for PIF, added: “I am so happy that amongst the many issues facing our country, from national security to the economy, candidates are taking the time to address one of our most critical rights, a free and open Internet.
“The FCC’s heavy handed regulations to treat the Internet as a government controlled public utility threaten freedom and liberty and it is imperative we take our internet back from these meddlesome unelected bureaucrats,” she added.