While Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has not yet conceded the race to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the soon-to-be retiring Texas Congressman has teamed up with his son Rand Paul (Senator R-Kentucky) to take on a new crusade: Internet Freedom. Similar to his fight against ending the Federal Reserve, the Paul father and son team are taking the fight to government regulation of the Internet, but their perspective on it is decidedly Libertarian, which means that they do not believe the government should regulate anything related to the Internet.
This new fight is detailed in a document released to Buzzfeed called "The Technology Revolution." It was put together with the support of the Paul-founded group Campaign for Liberty.
While the document serves up plenty of fire for government regulations - including net neutrality rules - it also offers some strong criticism of "progressive groups." In Paul's view the government and advocacy groups may have different goals in their efforts to control the Internet, but the result is the same: less freedom for those who do business online and those ordinary citizens that use it every day.
You can read the entire document on Scribd (PDF), but the core of it is about applying a constitutional litmus test to any future regulations on the Internet:
We do not need to reinvent our principles for the web; we only need apply our core principles to it. When faced with Internet regulation, we should ask these key questions:
1. Is this a core function of the federal government?
2. Does it execute Constitutionally defined duties?
3. Does it protect Constitutionally defined rights?
4. Does it protect property rights?
5. Does it protect individual rights?
6. If the federal government does not do this, will others?
7. Will this policy or regulation allow the market to decide outcomes or will it distort the market for political ends?
8. Is this policy or regulation clear and specific, with defined metrics and limitations?
Yes, there will always be problems and challenges that exist in the online universe. These challenges are sometimes significant and important and other times not. Government, however, will never solve them. Markets will.
As a matter of principle, we oppose any attempt by Government to tax, regulate, monitor or control the Internet, and we oppose the Internet collectivists who collaborate with the government against Internet freedom.
This is our revolution…. Government needs to get out of the way.
Paul will heavily push this new cause after the vote on auditing the Federal Reserve takes place, according to people close to the Texas Congressman.