Scalise: Regulating Web companies threatens Internet freedom

Scalise's comments should come as welcome news to a range of Internet companies as regulators and Congress have scrutinized how Web-based businesses operate and handle user data. He also called for an overhaul of "legacy regulations" and argued that they discriminate against new players in the tech market.

"Congress and the [Federal Communications Commission] should not only resist the temptation to pile on new regulations but should exercise humility by clearing the regulatory underbrush of a bygone era," he said. "Our response to this newly converged marketplace should not be to level the playing field by extending legacy regulations to new entrants and technologies, but rather to let the Internet work and repeal the archaic and obsolete rules that are on the books."

He also voiced opposition to the White House's executive order on cybersecurity and encouraged the president to hold off on issuing it. Instead, Congress should focus on "incentivizing information-sharing" about cyber threats between government and industry in cybersecurity legislation this year, Scalise said.

He lauded the U.S. delegation's work at a United Nations treaty conference in December, which was dedicated to updating a global telecommunications treaty. The U.S. refused to sign the treaty after arguing that the final version included provisions that would attempt to regulate the Internet and threaten freedom of expression online.

The Study Commission chairman argued that Congress should use the U.S. delegation's work on Internet freedom as "our policy compass throughout the 113th Congress."