Forbes: Let’s Keep U.S. Technology Policy Sensible And Bipartisan

By Roslyn Layton

With the 2018 midterm elections behind us, voters decided that Capitol Hill will return to two-party rule. These situations can spell gridlock with little to no expectation for major legislation making it to the President’s desk—or political opportunity. In fact, far more potential exists between the two political parties on comprehensive technology policy than may be realized or admitted, leaving the door open to legislative achievements in 2019 that would enjoy broad political consensus and voter support.

There has perhaps been no issue more contentious in the technology landscape over the last decade than the concept of “net neutrality”. Many Americans and businesses today share in the belief that an open and free internet is critical to improved quality of life, economic opportunity and social justice. They’re right, and Congress has an obligation to craft bipartisan legislation that would preserve these fundamental values and ensure our internet is accessible by all and a continued catalyst to historic 21st Century innovation.

Unfortunately, there remain groups motivated by other interests. Under the guise of activism, some groups have latched on to the confusing and controversial topic of net neutrality to drive fundraising, and they will go as far as disrupting meaningful legislative opportunities by organizing over-the-top stunts and sowing polarization and inaction on the issue. A case in point is today’s “Day of Action”, yet another political manipulation by telling people “to flood members of Congress with 7 advocacy correspondence” – much of which includes verbatim language crafted by the sophisticated, well-funded organizations behind the effort.