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Washington, D.C.—In the wake of House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank’s (D, MA-4) announcement that he will reintroduce legislation to repeal the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), FreedomWorks is re-engaging its “Net Freedom Forever” campaign to provide grassroots support for this effort.
UIGEA slaps the internet with unnecessary government regulation and oversight that limits innovation and growth. The act may have been intended to stop "unlawful internet gambling," but because it never actually spelled out what that meant, UIGEA ushered in unintended consequences that put the government in the role of “Big Brother” online. In particular, the act had the effect of turning online payment transaction companies into informants and enforcers for the federal government, raising privacy concerns as well as costs to consumers.
Last year while UIGEA was still in the implementation phase, FreedomWorks launched NetFreedomForever.com; an online campaign that served as a call-to-arms for online gamers and those who support keeping the internet free from the heavy-hand of government. Thousands of activists signed the Net Freedom Forever petition and were mobilized to target both the Bush Administration and Members of Congress and urge them to abandon efforts to enact UIGEA.
Now, as legislative momentum builds for UIGEA repeal in the current Congress, FreedomWorks will pivot the Net Freedom Forever campaign to target legislators and specifically key members of the House Financial Services Committee with emails, phone calls, and face-to-face grassroots pressure in support of this important legislation.
FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe commented: “Targeting online gambling may cater to certain political constituencies, but it is nothing more than a nanny-state façade for what has been the latest attempt by big government proponents to restrict the free and open internet. It is not often that FreedomWorks finds issues to work with Barney Frank on, but in this instance his efforts to repeal UIGEA strike a blow to backdoor government regulation of the internet and that fits hand in glove with our free market mission.”