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Marco Rubio on Technology

 


Internet belongs in hands of our people, not our government

The FCC's recent 332-page plan to regulate the Internet is being sold as "net neutrality," which is an existing concept predicated on preventing Internet service providers from creating "fast lanes" and "slow lanes" for different content.

Throughout this debate, Americans have been given a false choice: Either you are for the FCC's plan, or you are for a lawless Internet. This represents a cynical view of free markets and a misunderstanding of government's role in protecting them. I believe government's role is not to regulate the actions of a few, but rather to empower all.

That's why I introduced a resolution to oppose ceding greater Internet regulatory power to the International Telecommunications Union. I have also worked on the Wi-Fi Innovation Act, designed to increase access to mobile broadband by expanding unlicensed spectrum.

The Internet is one of our people's greatest treasures, which is why it belongs in the hands of our people, not our government.

Source: Politico.com, "Internet Party", editorial by Marco Rubio , Mar 17, 2015

Net neutrality empowers bureaucrats and allows manipulation

There are several significant problems with "net neutrality":
  1. While the FCC plan supposedly seeks to prevent ISPs from playing favorites, it does so by giving that power to another entity: government. The answer to correcting injustice in an economy is to increase consumer power, not government power.
  2. The issue of ISPs creating different speed lanes is not the injustice that it is made out to be. There are hardly any cases of it to begin with, and any deals that do take place are just as likely to benefit consumers by allowing highly trafficked sites to accommodate their visitors.
  3. The primary function of the FCC's plan goes far beyond the goal of net neutrality. It would label Internet service providers as public utilities, and [thereby give] power over the Internet to an unelected, unaccountable board that every lobbyist, lawyer and crony capitalist with a vested interest in the Internet will seek to manipulate.
Source: Politico.com, "Internet Party", editorial by Marco Rubio , Mar 17, 2015

No "Net Neutrality": don't declare Internet a public utility

Big government can't seem to keep its hands off of anything. The latest insult: President Obama and the Federal Communications Commission are going to take over the Internet on February 26th if we don't do everything we can do to stop them right now.

A plan deceivingly referred to as "Net Neutrality," involves declaring the Internet a "public utility" and gives the FCC the power to decide what Internet service providers can charge and how they operate. This is not only a direct attack on the free market, but it will also result in an increase in Internet access fees for millions of consumers in America. It's a massive tax on the middle class, plain and simple.

The details are complicated but here's the truth: If Net Neutrality is passed, for the first time ever, the Internet will be under the rule of an antiquated regulation designed for land line telephones. I need your help to tell President Obama and the FCC: "Don't mess with the Internet!"

Source: Campaign email, "The Latest Insult" , Feb 23, 2015

Technology is an opportunity to help people, not take jobs

Technology is here to stay, and our challenge is to find the opportunities it presents and to take advantage of them. Technological breakthroughs are not all bad news for the middle-class. Even as machines take over more functions in our modern society, we still need humans to build them, fix them, and work alongside them. The key to using new technology to our advantage is having educational and vocational training systems that produce workers capable of working with it.
Source: American Dreams, by Marco Rubio, p. 24 , Jan 13, 2015

Release anti-North Korea movie despite cyber-attack

Q: Let me ask you about [Sony being cyber-attacked in retaliation for an anti-North Korea movie]. You asked the president "to undo the damage to freedom of speech and expression" caused by Sony's decision not to release this movie. What exactly do you want him to do?

RUBIO: First of all, the president in his end-of-year press conference alluded to the fact that there will be response and a strong one and a measured one, but one that's reciprocal. And I will support that. But, second, it's important that that movie be played, that that movie be seen. I don't even know if it's a good movie, but I think it's now important that that happen, that we figure out way to get that out there so Americans can watch it. It's unacceptable that this attack not just on our country, not just on a business located in America, but on our constitutional freedoms, if it's unresponded to, if it stays the way it is now, it is going to be an incentive for others to try and do the exact same thing in the future.

Source: Face the Nation 2014 interview: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Dec 21, 2014

Net neutrality is government regulation of the Internet

Web companies are pressing the Federal Communications Commission for new rules that would require Internet providers to treat all online traffic equally. But Senators Cruz, Paul and Rubio are anything but neutral on net neutrality--they hate it, much less any government regulation at all.

Companies like Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Yelp--through their Washington trade group, the Internet Association--are public backers of net neutrality. They together have praised Obama for endorsing an approach that might subject the Internet to utility-like regulation. All three Republicans, however, rejected the president's suggestion. Rubio hammered it as "government regulation of the Internet" that "threatens to restrict Internet growth and increase costs on Internet users." And Cruz lambasted net neutrality as "ObamaCare for the Internet" in a tweet that went viral--and drew plenty of criticism.

Source: Politico.com 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 29, 2014

Information age has changed world; people have not changed

What I sense from a lot of people I've been talking to was this fear that somehow America has changed--that are people changed. That's not true.

Our people have not changed. The vast majority of the American people are hard-working taxpayers who go to work every day; who volunteer in their communities. What's changed is the world around us.

Just think how much the world has changed in the last ten years. The global economy is real--we don't live in the national economy anymore. Everything you buy- everything you touch--it's all impacted by things that are happening halfway around the world. The information age is real. It's changed the world and it's made out life easier, but it's also changed our economy. You go into a grocery store today and you'll find machines doing the job that people once did. You find today at many businesses that 1 person, because of automation, can do the work that 5 people used to do. It's the world around us that has changed. And this has had an impact on our people

Source: Speech at 2013 Conservative Political Action Conf. , Mar 14, 2013

1st Senate candidate to pass 100,000 "likes" on Facebook

He understood the usefulness of 1-on-1 exchanges with voters at the speed of DSL. He even conducted press interviews via Twitter. In May 2009 the National Journal asked him via Twitter, "Numbers: How many cars do you own? How many houses? How many guns? How many kids in public schools? He sent back his answers: "Own Ford F150 ('05); lease an Escalade; 2 houses(Miami and Tallahassee), no guns, 2 of 4 kids @FL Christian School in Miami."

His advisors boasted that he was the 1st US Senate candidate to pass 100,000 "likes" on Facebook. His staff uploaded his speeches to YouTube. The Twitter community can often sniff out someone who is paying a flunky to write their tweets, but Rubio fired out photographs of family that could only have come from him. The digital investments during his campaign were 100% transferable to his new role as a US senator. Rubio's tweets lived on the Internet, and his followers stayed connected to him and multiplied. In 2012 he counted more than 70,000 followers on Twitter.

Source: The Rise of Marco Rubio, by Manuel Rogi-Franzia, p.183-184 , Jun 19, 2012

Co-sponsored PIPA to Protect IP, but withdrew his support

Rubio risked alienating conservatives because of his cosponsorship of a bill to combat Internet piracy and preserve intellectual property, known as PIPA, short for the Protect IP Act. The legislation seemed to be just the kind of intrusive government regulation that Rubio would naturally oppose. Wikipedia, the ubiquitous Internet encyclopedia, went black on January 18 to protest PIPA and another Internet piracy measure. Conservatives were beginning to talk about mounting primary challenges against Republicans, including Rubio, who supported the measures.

It was too much for Rubio. The senator, smartly, took the Internet to announce that he was pulling his support for PIPA. He made his announcement on his Facebook page. What could have been a political disaster turned into a political coup.

Source: The Rise of Marco Rubio, by Manuel Rogi-Franzia, p.194 , Jun 19, 2012

Invest in R&D and space exploration

Q: Do you support increasing funding for long term investment in research and development, particularly space exploration, energy, and/or medicine?

A: I believe that research and development results in innovations that help drive America's economic edge. However, we must continue to invest and improve our education system, space exploration and other programs to ensure our continued success.

Source: League of Women Voters 2010 Candidate Questionnaire , Aug 11, 2010

E-budget website for detailed, issue-level budget

Source: 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future by Marco Rubio , Nov 1, 2006

Protect against identity theft with privacy opt-in

Source: 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future by Marco Rubio , Nov 1, 2006

Put budget online to allow public inspection and comment

Embedded in the budgetary system are details showing general appropriations acts are developed. Given one example of an increase in a program's contractual services, the detail in the budget system will show the reason for the increase (e.g., the state was purchasing an increased amount of services). However, this detail is not included in the printed version of the General Appropriations Act.

Florida will design an e-budget website that will display a detailed, issue-level budget and allow the publi to comment on the budget. This budget will be restructured from an input-based methodology appropriating money for employees, salaries, travel ,furniture, and contracts, to a results-based approach.

The new e-budget will allow residents to view the funding of the budget's service or program areas by category. Viewers will see the budget at various levels of complexity; departmental, program, service, and issue. The budget will be far more transparent and understandable.

Source: 100 Innovative Ideas, by Marco Rubio, p. 55-56 , Nov 1, 2006

Public-private partnerships to build & operate roadways

Christopher Dodd said, "American's highways, roads, bridges, are an indispensible part of our lives. They link one end of our nation to the other. We use them each and every day, for every conceivable purpose."

Problem: Funding is inadequate to build and maintain a transportation system that meets Florida's expanding needs.

Solution: Government should collaborate with the private sector to fund, build, and maintain needed transportation improvements.

Currently, the private sector services in such areas as road and bridge construction, engineering design, construction inspection, roadway maintenance, and toll collection. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are comprehensive services that include design-build-finance-operate-maintain schemes, with the private sector receiving "payment" through tolls collected on a road or bridge, a direct payment from the "owner," or a combination of the two.

Source: 100 Innovative Ideas, by Marco Rubio, p. 78-79 , Nov 1, 2006

Increase criminal penalties for identity theft

Problem: There is an increasing number of identity theft crimes. The increase in technology and electronic communication has left individuals exposed to the dangers of identity theft and highlighted Florida's need to increase the criminal penalties to protect its residents. In 2005, 9 million US citizens were victims of identity fraud, while fraud costs have risen from $53 billion in 2003 to over $56 billion in 2006. Regaining a clean credit record and securing personal information remain priorities for the residents of Florida.

Florida should base the felony level of identity theft crimes on the class of victim, as well as the monetary damage incurred. In Florida, any person convicted of an identity theft crime affecting a person 65 years or older will face enhanced penalties.

Current Florida law permits conviction for possession of another's identification information only of the state can prove intent to USE the information. We should eliminate the "use" requirement.

Source: 100 Innovative Ideas, by Marco Rubio, p. 86-87 , Nov 1, 2006

Protect kids from sex predators on Facebook & MySpace

Florida's children are in danger on the Internet. The Internet poses a serious threat to Florida's children. The growing popularity of online networking sites such as Facebook & MySpace provide online predators with easy avenues to lure and victimize Florida's children. Users of these sites create online profiles or pages disclosing their interests, likes & dislikes. Numerous sex offenders nationwide have been convicted of victimizing children they met through these sites.

To enhance child safety, Florida will require social networking sites to set up verification systems to require parental notification and consent for minors to use these sites. The consent form should detail what data is collected from users, the disclosure practices of the site operator, and what limits, of any, parents can place on their children's use of the site. Civil penalties will be enforced against anyone that falsifies or otherwise allows a minor access to the site without the proper parental notification and consent.

Source: 100 Innovative Ideas, by Marco Rubio, p. 98-99 , Nov 1, 2006

Voted NO on authorizing states to collect Internet sales taxes.

Congressional Summary: The Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 authorizes each state to require all sellers with sales exceeding $1 million in the preceding calendar year to collect and remit sales and use taxes, but only if complying with the minimum simplification requirements relating to the administration of such taxes & audits.

Opponent's Argument for voting No (Cnet.com): Online retailers are objecting to S.743, saying it's unreasonable to expect small businesses to comply with the detailed--and sometimes conflicting--regulations of nearly 10,000 government tax collectors. S.743 caps years of lobbying by the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association, which represent big box stores. President Obama also supports the bill.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes: Sen. COLLINS. This bill rectifies a fundamental unfairness in our current system. Right now, Main Street businesses have to collect sales taxes on every transaction, but outbecause -of-state Internet sellers don't have to charge this tax, they enjoy a price advantage over the mom-and-pop businesses. This bill would allow States to collect sales taxes on Internet sales, thereby leveling the playing field with Main Street businesses. This bill does not authorize any new or higher tax, nor does it impose an Internet tax. It simply helps ensure that taxes already owed are paid.

Opponent's Argument for voting No: Sen. WYDEN: This bill takes a function that is now vested in government--State tax collection--and outsources that function to small online retailers. The proponents say it is not going to be hard for small businesses to handle this--via a lot of new computer software and the like. It is, in fact, not so simple. There are more than 5,000 taxing jurisdictions in our country. Some of them give very different treatment for products and services that are almost identical.

Reference: Marketplace Fairness Act; Bill S.743 ; vote number 13-SV113 on May 6, 2013

Withdrew support for policing websites for copyright.

Rubio signed PIPA: PROTECT IP Act

Congressional Summary:Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act, or the PROTECT IP Act, or PIPA (in the House, Stop Online Piracy Act or SOPA) :

OnTheIssues Notes: SOPA and PIPA, proponents claim, would better protect electronic copyright ("IP", or Intellectual Property). Opponents argue that SOPA and PIPA would censor the Internet. Internet users and entrepreneurs oppose the two bills; google.com and wikipedia.com held a "blackout" on Jan. 18, 2012 in protest. An alternative bill, the OPEN Act was proposed on Jan. 18 to protect intellectual property without censorship; internet businesses prefer the OPEN Act while the music and movie industries prefer SOPA and PIPA.

Source: HR3261/S968 11-S968 on May 12, 2011

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Page last updated: Apr 19, 2015