Congressman Marsha Blackburn (TN-07) gave the keynote address to the 'State of the Net' conference. Her remarks as prepared for delivery can be found here and are excerpted below:
"Both Republicans and Democrats active on the tech policy front have hyper-focused on technology -- or the delivery systems- as the be-all, end-all of tech policy without giving sufficient thought to what is driving the technology and its development. "
"For Conservatives, the challenge must be to look beyond platforms and technology to seek out those core Conservative values that are the basis of all of our positions. We must see the latest regulatory impulse at the FCC as the wakeup call it is. We must seriously apply our philosophy of government to the new economy that will drive American life and culture in this century. Tech policy debates will shape the engine of our economy and could become the next great challenge to our principles. The degree to which that economy is kept free, to which property rights are protected in the next century, to which free speech is assured; may all be shaped by tech policy. Free markets, rule of law, property rights, small government-- these are all core conservative values. These are THE core conservative values, and Conservatives must rise to defend them in the tech policy debates of the coming decades- not to mention the coming Congress."
"The FCC thought they were pushing into a regulatory vacuum last month when they unveiled their net neutrality rules. They may find soon that they stumbled into a Congressional hurricane. No one, Republican or Democrat, Congressman or Commissioner, believes that these new regulations are also the final word. They are the first draft many regulations to come. And as the rules are revised and revised and revised, they create instability, unpredictability- the greatest of all disincentives to investment."
"Does the Internet deserve special regulation simply because it conducts commerce in a new way? I say it does not. Should the Internet be regulated in extraordinary ways, in a manner we have not applied to other markets? Should we accept any regulation beyond the traditional protection of private property, enforcement of law, and protection of speech? Conservatives must not."
"Beginning with the coming repeal of the FCC overreach, Conservatives should apply our philosophy to the broader arena of tech policy. We must do so in the spirit of our classic defense of free markets and property rights while guarding against needless regulation and federal intervention."