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Is Internet Freedom Going to Be a Campaign Issue?

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, August 15 2012

Democrats and Republicans may be considering incorporating positions related to Internet freedom in their platforms in response to the advocacy of groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Demand Progress, US News reports.

Jason Koebler cites a source involved with the drafting of the Democratic National Committee platform who says that early drafts included language that "advocated Internet freedom globally." The source could not confirm if that provision would make it into the final platform, Koebler writes. "We heard from many people who care very passionately about a free and open Internet," the source said, according to Koebler, and that input from Internet freedom activists encouraged drafters to "put tougher language" in the platform.

Kirsten Kukowski, a spokesperson for the Republican National Committee, told U.S News that Internet freedom and net neutrality will be issues under discussion as the RNC works on finalizing its final platform.

Rainey Reitman, activism director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told U.S. News that in the wake of the debate over SOPA and related issues and the "gamechanger" of the online blackout, "I think that politicians are definitely starting to court the Internet vote."

Demand Progress launched a campaign this week urging both parties to incorporate Internet freedom into their platforms.

"When the SOPA blackouts happened, we saw the Republicans back away from the bill a little faster than the Democrats did. There's an increasing awareness from Democrats that they can't let Republicans corner Silicon Valley," Demand Progress head David Segal told U.S. News.