2016 Platform: Communications and the Internet

The fundamental human right of free speech requires robust communication technologies, and the Internet has quickly proven to be an essential part of its propagation.  All speech must be unfettered by equal and uncensored access to all forms of wired and wireless telecommunication infrastructure and its many applications, including voice, video, and the Internet.  In order to promote vigorous exercise of our fundamental human rights, California Democrats support policies to preserve and encourage continued innovation of open, fast, accessible, and competitive communication and Internet services.

To promote and support free speech, communications, and the Internet, California Democrats will:

  • Protect the privacy and personally identifiable information of Internet consumers;
  • Ensure that all communications will be protected from warrantless search and seizure as guaranteed under state and federal constitutions;
  • Encourage build-out of high speed wired and wireless networks to all homes and businesses so that everyone, especially underserved areas, can access, upload, and download content at high speeds and fully participate in e-commerce;
  • Reassess all communication operators transmitting over radio spectrum to ensure that they meet their legal obligation of serving the public interest;
  • Protect American creativity and jobs by combating online piracy and enhancing cybersecurity;
  • Guarantee equal access online to all legal content by preventing connectivity degradation and requiring full transparency of any service provider that chooses to offer tiered data services;
  • Encourage new video and content applications by requiring Internet service providers to promote innovation and competition between traditional and “over-the-top” (over the public Internet) services; and,
  • Encourage Internet service providers to deploy services in areas that are already served by other providers to expand competition and increase consumer choice.
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