recommended reading

GOP platform blasts Obama on tech policy

Delegates gather during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

Delegates gather during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. // Jae C. Hong/AP

Republicans in Tampa on Tuesday called for protections of Internet freedom, less telecom regulation, and family-friendly online content in a party platform that also criticized President Obama’s “Luddite approach” to technology policy.

Obama has often been cast as a tech-savvy president who carries his own smartphone and understands the fast-paced world of technology. That’s not the way Republicans see it.

In their platform approved at the Republican National Convention, they accuse Obama of keeping the tech and telecom industry—the “most vibrant sector of the American economy”—shackled by a 19th-century regulatory system, as well as controversial net-neutrality rules.

“An industry that invested $66 billion in 2011 alone needs, and deserves, a more modern relationship with the federal government for the benefit of consumers here and worldwide,” the document states.

Besides decrying domestic regulation, the platform also calls for protections for Internet freedom, a stance advocated by businesses as well as liberals and libertarian Republicans such as Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

“We oppose any diplomatic efforts that could result in giving the United Nations unprecedented control over the Internet," the platform reads. “International regulatory control over the open and free Internet would have disastrous consequences for the United States and the world.” The authors go on to promise to “resist any effort to shift control away from the successful multi-stakeholder approach of Internet governance and toward governance by international or other intergovernmental organizations.”

In a section on cybersecurity, the platform largely echos the GOP stance that government agencies should not have the authority to set security standards for private businesses. Such arguments have stalled White House-backed legislation that would give the Homeland Security Department more authority over certain critical networks.

“The current administration’s laws and policies undermine what should be a collaborative relationship and put both the government and private entities at a severe disadvantage in proactively identifying potential cyberthreats,” the platform says. “The costly and heavy-handed regulatory approach by the current administration will increase the size and cost of the federal bureaucracy and harm innovation in cybersecurity.”

The platform takes a stance against any regulation of political speech on the Internet, as well as the now-defunct Fairness Doctrine, which required broadcasters to provide equal airtime to opposing views. The law had not been enforced since 1987 and was stricken from the books in 2011.

Additionally, Republicans urge enforcement of all laws governing child and other pornography, and they call on Internet providers to prevent the Web from becoming a “safe haven for predators” while respecting free speech. The platform also opposes any online gambling.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.