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However, the senator bringing it up in her announcement marked perhaps the most high-profile stage the issue has had in terms of recent presidential politics.
The Minnesota senator brought up the issue among other technology platform goals, including privacy and cybersecurity.
“Way too many politicians have their heads stuck in the sand when it comes to the digital revolution. ‘Hey guys, it’s not just coming. It’s here.’ If you don’t know the difference between a hack and Slack, it’s time to pull off the digital highway,” she said. “What would I do as president? We need to put some digital rules of the road into law when it comes to people’s privacy.”
“For too long the big tech companies have been telling you, don’t worry, we’ve got your back,” she said. “While your identities, in fact, are being stolen and your data is being mined. Our laws need to be as sophisticated as the people who are breaking them. We must revamp our nation’s cybersecurity and guarantee net neutrality for all. And we need to end the digital divide by pledging to connect every household to the internet by 2022, and that means you, rural America.”
The net neutrality line drew cheers from the crowd.
Klobuchar has been vocal in her support of net neutrality in the past–including during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. During the hearings, Klobuchar grilled Kavanaugh about a dissent we wrote in 2017 as a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The dissent was written as part of a case that upheld the Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 Open Internet Order, which enshrined net neutrality protections.
However, Klobuchar is not the only Democrat seeking the 2020 nomination that has shown support for the issue in the past.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) tweeted late last month about reports suggesting that telecom investments have not risen since the FCC’s controversial repeal of net neutrality, calling the decision “another handout to big corporations & telecom giants.”
No one should be surprised by this. Repealing #NetNeutrality was just another handout to big corporations & telecom giants. Access to high-speed Internet should be available for all Americans– not just those with the $$ to purchase special access rights. https://t.co/XJwTs7PDfp— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) January 25, 2019
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) also told a crowd in Iowa last month that she believed “in net neutrality the same way I believe everybody should have access to electricity,” according to the Washington Post.
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).