WASHINGTON — On Wednesday morning, Republican Rep. Darrell Issa urged Reddit users to ask him anything — about Internet regulation, that is.
Issa, the chair of the House Oversight Committee, was seeking input on and questions about a measure to ban new government regulations on the Internet for two years.
"What a bummer," one user wrote. "One second I feel like he might be trying to do a good thing and the next he's just another political hack."
"Good morning. I hope this isn’t a bummer," Issa replied. "I’m trying to create a two-year cooling off period on new Internet rules, regulations and laws. Period."
Issa answered 18 questions during the AMA on Wednesday, after his post received more than 2,000 comments Tuesday.
Issa stressed that he thinks the government should delay new laws for the Internet until the government better understands online culture, in order to prevent overregulation.
"We are still in the early stages of the internet era, and Congress is trying to keep up with all aspects of supporting Internet users, while protecting their individual rights from potential dangers," Issa wrote in reply to another question. "What this bill is hoping to do is hold off on rule-making and implementing regulations and new laws on the internet before the federal government is prepared and ready to move forward in a way that works for everyone involved — Internet users, job creators and all Americans."
The debate has been a charged one since Congress defeated SOPA, the Stop Internet Piracy Act, last year, which would have given the government greater authority to enforce anti-piracy laws on the Internet.
In addition to Internet regulation in general, Issa touched on Internet taxation (he supports bringing online sales taxes in line with normal sales taxes) and defended the Internet savviness of some members of Congress (two of them, anyway).
He signed his posts, simply, "Darrell."