How Senator Ron Wyden helped lay the groundwork for the Internet we know today

It’s no secret that Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon is a staunch proponent for a free and accessible Internet. His efforts around keeping the platform as open as possible are well known. But did you realize that he was also part of crafting the legislation that laid the foundation for the way we’re able to communicate online, today?

Writing in Backchannel, Christopher Zara explores the use of the “safe harbor” clause, including how it came into being. With the help of Oregon’s—then US Representative—Ron Wyden.

Two congressmen sought to break the pattern. One afternoon, Chris Cox, a Republican from California, and Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, put their plates together and strategized how they might cut through the frosty partisanship that divided the Hill. They agreed that the way to get bipartisan support for a cause was to focus on the future, on some pressing problem that lacked the baggage of the usual issues like abortion or taxes.

For the whole story, read The Most Important Law in Tech Has a Problem.