House Dems urge DNC to state Internet freedom position in party platform

Early drafts of the DNC platform reportedly included text on Internet freedom, but it's not clear whether that language made it into the final draft version. A spokesman for the DNC was not immediately available for comment.

The House lawmakers said Democrats have committed to protecting Internet freedom in previous policies and the party needs to make clear that it's a long-term priority.

"These issues are of high importance to the American people as well as our economic prosperity," the group wrote. "Online free expression, privacy, openness and digital innovation will become increasingly prominent issues as more business, cultural and political activity takes place over the Internet. The Democratic Party should make it clear that these principles are a long-term priority for us, and that we are best equipped to champion these principles.

"Failure to clearly reaffirm our commitment to these policies at the convention would be a lost opportunity to let the world know that Internet freedom continues to be a priority for Democrats," they added.

After Internet users launched a wave of protests against the now-defunct SOPA and Protect IP Act (PIPA) earlier this year, lawmakers have been eager to voice their commitment to protecting the Internet and free expression online. The widespread backlash against the anti-piracy bills also put Internet policy on the national political agenda.

Republicans are considering including draft language on Internet freedom in their own party platform. The Republican National Committee (RNC) is weighing draft text from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and other lawmakers, as well as proposals submitted from interest groups and citizens via the RNC platform committee website.