The Internet's Role in the Democratic Platform | Adweek The Internet's Role in the Democratic Platform | Adweek
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Election 2012

The Internet's Role in the Democratic Platform

The Web is now a big part of the political discussion
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With many of president Obama's top financial contributors in Silicon Valley—Microsoft and Google PACs are the second and third biggest contributors, per Open Secrets, a website that tracks political contributions—it was a given that the party's platform would devote several points to the Internet.

Much the same as the Republican platform released last week, the Democratic platform, released Monday, was long on philosophy and short on details. Both parties have plenty of wiggle room when it comes to actual execution.

But with both giving the Internet plenty of play, one message is clear: The Internet is now part of the political discussion.

Internet freedom was a big talking point for Democrats and the GOP and both threw their party's support behind the current multi-stakeholder governance approach, vowing to fight off any power grab by the United Nations or any other intergovernmental organization to control the Internet.

"The Obama administration has led the world to recognize and defend Internet freedom, the freedom of expression, assembly, and association online for people everywhere, through coalitions of countries and by empowering individuals with innovative technologies. The administration has built partnerships to support an Internet that is secure and reliable and that is respectful of U.S. Intellectual property, free flow of information, and privacy," the DNC platform said.

The DNC also reiterated its goal to expand wired and wireless broadband, perhaps the single biggest focus of the Federal Communications Commission under this administration.

"We will ensure that America has a 21st century digital infrastructure—robust wired and wireless broadband capability, a smarter electrical grid, and upgraded information technology infrastructure in key sectors such as health care and education. President Obama has committed to ensuring that 98 percent of the country has access to high-speed wireless broadband Internet access. We are finding innovative ways to free up wireless spectrum and are building a state-of-the-art nationwide, interoperable, public safety network," the platform said.

While the GOP blasted the FCC's controversial net neutrality rules by name, the Democrats took a more subtle approach in advocating an "open Internet."

"President Obama is strongly committed to protecting an open Internet that fosters investment, innovation, creativity, consumer choice and free speech, unfettered by censorship or undue violations of privacy," the platform said.

Democrats also gave a strong shout-out to ongoing efforts of the administration to adopt strong privacy protections. "The administration launched the Internet privacy bill of rights and encouraged innovative such as a Do Not Track option for consumers," the platform said.