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

FILE - In this July 17, 2013, file photo, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., testifies at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Voting Rights Act on Capitol Hill in Washington. Sensenbrenner, Rep. John Conyers, ... FILE - In this July 17, 2013, file photo, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., testifies at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Voting Rights Act on Capitol Hill in Washington. Sensenbrenner, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., introduced bills Jan. 16, 2014, to update a formula used to require certain states with a history of discrimination to get federal approval before making any changes in the way they hold elections.(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File) MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

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:

Latest Livewire

Comments are not currently available for this post.

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: