Technology

Tech industry analysts declare net neutrality dead in Congress

According to the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), whose members include Google, Facebook, Oracle and Microsoft, moving any tech legislation through the divided Congress will be challenging, putting the onus on the FCC to take action on net neutrality and media consolidation. 

But the industry group suggested that members sympathetic to the Tea Party may be supportive of efforts to protect consumers’ privacy online. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, already confirmed online privacy legislation will be a priority when the GOP assumes control of the House.

“What will be interesting to see once these candidates get to Washington is what their stance on government interference means for Internet freedom, privacy and government surveillance,” the CCIA wrote. “Will proposals to increase government surveillance of domestic phone calls and emails get these Constitutional fundamentalists worked up?”

Bennett argued that while the overall Republican party did better than expected on Tuesday, Tea Party candidates fell short of expectations — particularly Sharron Angle in Nevada. He said the election “put net neutrality on the back burner” while elevating issues such as spectrum allocation, intellectual property protections and online privacy.

“Or so it would appear; these things never turn out exactly as one expects” he added. “Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle are deeply concerned about the economy, the debt, and employment, and a focus on the positives of technology over such negatives as net neutrality ought to help with all these things.”

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