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Toomey: don't "break" internet

Published by Tim McNulty on .

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Liberal site Talking Points Memo is tweaking Pat Toomey (headline: "Senator+Internet=Laughs") for saying this morning that Democratic proposals to bar companies from secretly tracking consumers could "break the internet."

From TPM:

"In a world where people voluntarily share very personal information on web sites like Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis, I'm not entirely sure what consumer expectations are when it comes to privacy, but I am sure that different consumers have different expectations about privacy," said Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) in a Wednesday morning Senate Commerce Committee hearing on privacy and data security.

Toomey said he was worried that the legislative proposals currently being discussed in Congress are a "solution in search of a problem."

"I'm sure no-one on this committee wants to break the internet, or limit many of the popular online services that consumers can access in order to avoid fundamentally altering the current online experience in creating these unintended consequences. I just urge that we all proceed with caution," he said.

UPDATE: Team Toomey responds that "break the internet" is a common term in the tech world that even bill sponsor Jay Rockefeller used when introducing the measure. They also note that technology activist and Harvard professor (and Arlen Specter supporter) Lawrence Lessig has used the term.

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