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AFP Letter of Support for Internet Freedom

April 09, 2013 J

Dear Chairman Walden:

On behalf of more than two million Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, I write in strong support of legislation establishing the policy of the United States to promote a free and open global Internet that is not controlled by government.

One reason for the dramatic growth of the Internet is that it has been free from government control. We see in other industries that government regulation snuffs out innovation, and Congress should take steps to ensure that this does not happen to the Internet. Attempts by the government to control the economy routinely fail in the off-line world—there’s no reason to believe that government will have a better track record with similar attempts to control the Internet. Government officials simply do not have the skills and knowledge necessary to plan the economy, whether offline or online; this is better left to entrepreneurs and consumers to figure out in the free market.

Not only would Internet regulation impact technology innovation, it would also impact free speech. Many foreign governments desire to control the Internet in order to regulate information and to carry out their own propaganda. Free speech and an informed citizenry are essential components of a free society.

Other governments see controlling the Internet as a means to generate revenue, proposing tariff-style protections; this approach is short-sighted and self-defeating. They overlook the fact that the unregulated Internet produces an unprecedented level of economic growth and job creation, bringing an even higher level of revenue in other forms tax collection.

With other nations threatening to undermine the Internet for their own purposes, Congress should demonstrate its commitment to keeping the internet free. Americans for Prosperity is proud to support the bill affirming that it is U.S. policy that the Internet should remain free and open from government control. I urge your colleagues to support internet freedom, and I look forward to working with you in the future.

Sincerely,

James Valvo
Director of Policy
Americans for Prosperity

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