LGBT Tech applauds the renewed Congressional focus on tech policy issues but strongly urges Congress to take a bipartisan, commonsense approach. We are encouraged that both parties have introduced proposals on privacy/data protection legislation as well as net neutrality.
After nearly twenty years of debate, we believe there is a bipartisan, bicameral consensus in support of modern net neutrality protections that keep the internet open to all and prevent any kind of blocking, throttling, or manipulation of data. Those consensus protections should be the centerpiece of any legislation and the goal of this renewed important Congressional focus should be the consumers, putting the right legislation in place and getting this bill across the finish line; not using obsolete utility rules that act as a badly shaped band-aid and ultimately destroy bipartisan consensus.
We were particularly heartened by Speaker Pelosi’s recognition in today’s press conference of the major role online algorithms play in shaping what we do and see online. We believe the time is ripe for a broader and richer understanding of net neutrality – one that covers social media and search platforms as well as internet providers so that no one can send LGBT users to the back of the digital bus or block access to websites or services featuring gay themes. We believe this demand for true neutrality, with safeguards against discrimination and censorship, is an issue that can unify left and right.
LGBT Tech also believes Congress should pass bipartisan, commonsense legislation to ensure long term consistency in data privacy rules for today’s dynamic digital networks. We support internet regulations that ensure full and equal access for LGBT consumers and remain concerned that applying different standards to different participants in the internet ecosystem will harm consumers. A bipartisan set of data privacy rules would provide certain and stable protection for users’ private and sensitive information, which is particularly important for the LGBT community.
The common thread is pursuing policies that strike the proper balance between encouraging investment and competition in next-generation services for both rural and urban communities and technologies while delivering the neutrality and privacy protections needed to ensure communities like ours continue to enjoy the fruits of the broadband revolution.
We hope that Congress takes these factors into account as it continues to debate the proper standards for the regulation of Internet services.