Democrats call for Internet 'freedom,' cybersecurity legislation

The Democratic platform focuses on privacy and freedom of expression, instead of reducing regulations

The U.S. Democratic Party embraced its version of Internet freedom and called for new cybersecurity legislation in its platform released as the party begins its convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Democratic platform, released late Monday, calls for an Internet that is "secure and reliable and that is respectful of U.S. intellectual property, [the] free flow of information, and privacy."

The Democratic platform makes no mention of reducing regulations for broadband providers, a key provision in the Republican platform released last week. The Republican platform criticized Obama for not conducting any wireless spectrum auctions, for not giving carriers incentives for investment and for embracing the U.S. Federal Communication Commission's net neutrality rule, which tries to "micromanage telecom as if it were a railroad network."

Instead, the Democratic platform says the Obama administration has "led the world" in defending Internet freedoms of expression and association. It has helped promote innovative technologies to empower Internet users, the platform says.

Like the Republicans, the Democrats say they support the current multistakeholder approach to Internet governance and oppose new intergovernmental controls over the Internet. Both party platforms apparently took those positions in response to reports that several countries may push for more United Nations control of the Internet at an International Telecommunications Union meeting in December.

In addition, the Democratic platform trumpets the Obama administration's efforts on cybersecurity, saying Obama has backed the first military command dedicated to cybersecurity and conducted a comprehensive review of the federal government's cybersecurity efforts.

"The very technologies that empower us to lead and create also empower individual criminal hackers, organized criminal groups, terrorist networks, and other advanced nations to disrupt the critical infrastructure that is vital to our economy, commerce, public safety, and military," the platform says. "Defending against cyber threats requires networks that are secure, trustworthy, and resilient."

Obama has supported comprehensive cybersecurity legislation "that would help business and government protect against risks of cyber attacks while also safeguarding the privacy rights of our citizens," the platform notes.

Those cybersecurity bills have been controversial. Several privacy and digital rights groups objected to cybersecurity legislation debated in Congress this past year over concerns it would allow businesses to share a wide swath of customer information with government agencies.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Grant Gross

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts