House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who has long represented San Francisco, has tapped freshman Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) of Silicon Valley to draft an “Internet Bill of Rights.”
The announcement arrived days after Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress about the Internet platform’s data privacy issues.
Khanna reportedly said he felt compelled to start the project after realizing that many of his colleagues in Congress are unaware of basic Internet concepts during Zuckerberg’s hearing. “The hearing showed there was a knowledge gap in Congress,” Khanna told SiliconValley.com. “There are some who didn’t know what cookies were and some who didn’t know how Facebook made its money. I think this is a time for leadership.”
As SiliconValley.com notes, Khanna has repeatedly spoken about the need for an Internet Bill of Rights to outline clearly what rights Americans have on the Internet, including their rights to “access their own private data, delete their data off the internet, and to have universal access to a neutral internet, among others.” (The term “neutral Internet” refers to the policy of Net Neutrality, favored by the left and recently repealed by the Federal Communications Commission.)
Khanna told SiliconValley.com he hopes tech leaders like Apple CEO Tim Cook and Zuckerberg will help him draft the Internet Bill of Rights saying, “Technology is still the most popular industry in this country. This bill will help reclaim the public’s trust.”
During the testimony, Zuckerberg told Congress that Facebook will roll out strict European Union General Data Privacy Regulations (GDPR) that will be required in the EU beginning May 25 saying, “I think the GDPR, in general, is going to be a very positive step for the internet.”
However, Khanna told SiliconValley.com, “GDPR is too vague and is a moving goalpost,” in an effort to push for his own Internet Bill of Rights, a draft for which there is no set date. “European users will have to click through more things to get internet access. Let’s wait to see how GDPR works in Europe.”