Speaking for what will likely be the last time in the chambers he has served in for more than two decades, Congressman Ron Paul said on Thursday the Internet must remain free and unregulated.
Paul made the statement during a 45-minute farewell address to Congress in which he said the federal government has grown too powerful in recent years, while citizens’ civil liberties have shrunken. Paul will be leaving Congress at the end of the year after serving 23 of the last 36 years.
The demand to keep the Internet free of regulation came toward the end of his speech.
“The internet will provide the alternative to the government/media complex that controls the news and most political propaganda. This is why it’s essential that the internet remains free of government regulation,” he said.
The statements will come as no surprise to those who have followed Paul's career or that of his son, Sen. Rand Paul. The father-son team crafted a four-page manifesto in July called “The Technology Revolution: A Campaign For Liberty Manifesto,” which said the Internet must remain free of regulation. In the document, Paul likened the Web to the free market: something that can take care of itself.
At the time, Paul's staffers said the Congressman would push for legislation about protecting the Internet during the final months of his term, but as he leaves office, it appears no such move was made.
But that doesn't mean it's off the table. During Paul's time in Congress and numerous presidential campaigns (most notably the 2012 one), he has built an untouchable following on Facebook, becoming one of the most popular politicians on the site. If anyone can use that social media power and pick up where his father left off, it would be Rand, who is said to already be looking at a 2016 White House run.
Photo via Campaign for Liberty/YouTube