Abuse of Authority

GOP Lawmaker Says ‘Nobody’s got to use the Internet’ After Voting To Kill Obama-era Privacy Protections

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Representative F. James Sensenbrenner Jr (R-WI) told town hall attendees that ‘Nobody’s got to use the Internet’ after one attendee raised concerns about privacy protection placed by the Obama administration reported the Washington Post.

The Federal Communication Commission’s regulations limited what Internet providers such as Verizon and AT&T could do with their customers’s internet history. Congress voted to undo these regulations last month.

The town hall attendee criticized Sensenbrenner and the notion that ISPs are comparable to Facebook.

“Facebook is not comparable to an ISP. I do not have to go to Facebook,” the town hall attendee told Sensenbrenner Jr. “I do have one provider. … I have one choice. I don’t have to go on Google. My ISP provider is different than those providers.”

In response to this, Sensenbrenner said:

“Nobody’s got to use the Internet. … And the thing is that if you start regulating the Internet like a utility, if we did that right at the beginning, we would have no Internet. … Internet companies have invested an awful lot of money in having almost universal service now. The fact is is that, you know, I don’t think it’s my job to tell you that you cannot get advertising for your information being sold. My job, I think, is to tell you that you have the opportunity to do it, and then you take it upon yourself to make that choice. … That’s what the law has been, and I think we ought to have more choices rather than fewer choices with the government controlling our everyday lives.”

This drew criticism from several people on social media while also being slammed by a liberal SuperPAC, American Bridge.

Sensenbrenner’s spokesman stood by the Republican politicians remarks, telling the Post, “Actually, he said that nobody has to use the Internet. They have a choice. Big difference.”

Watch the exchange below, courtesy of the Washington Post. 


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