It’s official: Democrats will adopt “Internet freedom” principles as part of the Democrats’ official 2012 platform. How do we know? President Barack Obama just said so.
In an “Ask Me Anything” interview on Reddit.com, which started today at just before 4:30pm ET, Obama said that maintaining an “open Internet” is important to him, just as it is for so many Web users.
“Internet freedom is something I know you all care passionately about; I do too,” wrote Obama in response to a question from a Reddit user. “We will fight hard to make sure that the Internet remains the open forum for everybody — from those who are expressing an idea to those to want to start a business. And although their will be occasional disagreements on the details of various legislative proposals, I won’t stray from that principle — and it will be reflected in the platform.”
President Obama’s revelation comes just hours after the GOP unveiled its official 2012 platform, which also includes support for Internet freedom. The GOP promises to “remove regulatory barriers” that prevent Internet companies from releasing new technologies, to prevent member states of the United Nation’s International Telecommunications Union from gaining more control over Internet governance, and to protect Web user’s rights from “government overreach.”
The GOP’s definition of “freedom” on the Internet, and the Democrat’s vision of such freedom are expected to differ significantly. Those on the Right focus on allowing Internet-reliant businesses to do as they please, without government intervention. The Left will likely push for consumer safeguards, like the Federal Communications Commission’s Net neutrality rules, which prevent Internet service providers from favoring one type of content over another.
We will likely learn more about the Democrats’ exact position on Internet freedom late this week or early next week, prior to the Democratic National Convention, which kicks off in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Tuesday, September 4.
Check back with Digital Trends later today for a deeper analysis on the GOP’s Internet freedom position.