During the SOPA battle, I continually tried to argue that it was fine to distrust media conglomerates but that it was not rational to simultaneously turn a blind eye to the political influence of Silicon Valley. Last week, a handful of Democratic representatives sent a letter to the DNC requesting a new plank in the party platform. The language was drafted or backed by three Northern California representatives — Zoe Lofgren (16th), Anna Eshoo (14th), and Doris Matsui (5th), and they were joined by Jared Polis of the Colorado 2nd. The language requested reads as follows: “Democrats should explicitly affirm our staunch commitment to online free expression, to protect privacy from overbroad surveillance, to a free and open Internet, and to innovation in digital services.” There’s nothing inherently negative about this language. In fact, it’s so generic that it begs the real question: Who or what is behind it?
To discuss the relevance of this latest development, I spoke with my colleague Cormac Flynn. Cormac has been a democratic party operative for more than 25 years. He has served as a campaign manager or finance director at the state, local, and national levels; and he is today Vice President for State Policy and Program Planning at the League of Conservation Voters.
NOTE – 9/4/12: This article from The Washington Post reports that the Democratic Platform will include language committed to an open Internet that includes protecting intellectual property and providing cyber security.