GOP Rep. On Gutting Internet Privacy Rule: 'Nobody's Got To Use The Internet' (VIDEO)

Jacquelyn Martin

During a town hall event last week, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) tried to defend Republican legislation rolling back an Internet privacy rule by arguing that Americans don’t have to use the Internet.

His defense came when a town hall attendee on Thursday asked about the Republican bill allowing Internet providers to sell customers’ browsing history.

“Nobody’s got to use the Internet at all,” Sensenbrenner told the attendee. “And the thing is that if you start regulating the Internet like a utility, if we did that right at the beginning, we would have no Internet.”

“Internet companies have invested an awful lot of money in having almost universal service now. The fact is is that, you know, I don’t think it’s my job to tell you that you cannot get advertising for your information being sold. My job, I think, is to tell you that you have the opportunity to do it, and then you take it upon yourself to make that choice,” the congressman continued. “That’s what the law has been, and I think we ought to have more choices rather than fewer choices with the government controlling our everyday lives.”

Watch the clip via Democratic opposition research firm American Bridge:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.
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