September 17, 2008 (Business Wire) — FreedomWorks (www.freedomworks.org) today launched the "Net Freedom Forever" campaign to highlight federal action that is threatening innovation and violating personal privacy on the internet.
FreedomWorks has a twenty year history of fighting against heavy handed government regulations, taxation, and privacy infractions that threaten technological innovation.
Earlier this year FreedomWorks actively supported the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act. It also fought a provision added by Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) hidden deep in the Senate housing bailout legislation that affects the privacy and operation of nearly all of America's small businesses by requiring the nation's payment systems to track, aggregate, and report information on nearly every electronic transaction to the federal government.
As internet unfriendly legislation multiplies, FreedomWorks has built an online army of activists to fight against big government threats to internet freedom. FreedomWorks is putting all these efforts together in its new "Net Freedom Forever" campaign. The new website will be used to organize the grassroots against bad legislation that threatens the internet in both the near and long term. The next battle will be to advocate for the changes to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. While the bill was intended to stop "unlawful internet gambling," the legislation never actually spelled out what this means. As a result, the bill has the unintended consequences of expanding government regulation of the internet and turning online payment transaction companies into informants and enforcers for the federal government, raising privacy concerns as well as costs to consumers. To fix this problem, FreedomWorks is supporting HR 6870, "The Payments System Protection Act of 2008." This bill, which is being marked up on Tuesday, September 16, will protect legitimate online transactions from unnecessary monitoring.
FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe commented: "It has long been our position that the internet should be free from regulation, and your transactions and activities on the internet should not be monitored by a bureaucrat. FreedomWorks is launching this new campaign to protect our privacy and the future of innovation online. Our immediate concern is generating grassroots support for HR 6870, "The Payments System Protection Act of 2008," which would correct problems created by previous legislation and prevent financial institutions from being turned into federal agents and watching your online transactions for the government. We will be vigilant in trying to stop the excessive regulations created by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and other trespasses against internet freedom."
FreedomWorks Chairman Dick Armey added: "Government keeping its nose out of peoples lives is a fundamental pillar of conservatism. The internet has evolved relatively free of government intervention and there's no reason to change that now. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Act is right in stopping illegal online gambling, but the bill needs the modifications offered in HR 6870, "The Payments System Protection Act of 2008" to protect individual privacy and keep the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act from becoming a back door to federal regulation of the internet."
NetFreedomforever.com will include a petition to be delivered to Congress, as well as policy background and updates.
FreedomWorks activists have already scheduled district office visits ahead of Tuesday's mark-up, and also bombarded Congressional offices with emails and phone calls in favor of HR 6870 and demanding the government keep its hands off the internet.