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Wyden Firsts: Our Digital Future

Ron was the first to understand that brick-and-mortar laws would prevent the internet from being the innovator and job creator it has become. In particular, they would hamper the growth of new startups to compete against the old dominant corporations. In response he wrote the key laws often described as the legal foundation for the open internet and responsible for generating $1 trillion worth of value for the economy. Other Wyden laws include banning online tax discrimination against small businesses and taxes on internet access, and legalizing digital signatures. Ron also introduced the first strong net neutrality bill in the Senate in 2006.

Ron was the first member of Congress to organize grassroots internet activists in a campaign to protect a free and open internet. With a Senate vote coming to override Ron’s hold on a bill that would have gutted a free and open internet, more than ten million Americans weighed in against the badly flawed “ PIPA/SOPA” legislation. In the face of the grassroots coalition and enormous opposition to overriding Ron’s hold, the Senate leadership retreated and cancelled the vote.

Ron was the first federal legislator to recognize the economic importance of nanotechnology and wrote the bipartisan 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act. The law was essential to helping Oregon’s public universities team up with industry partners to promote nanomaterials in agriculture, health, energy and other fields.

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Meet Ron Wyden

Ron Wyden & Jeff Merkley at a health care rallyRon Wyden is a champion for our progressive values -- standing up for consumers and the middle class, fighting for digital privacy and an open internet, protecting our planet and Oregon's special places, and always insisting on human rights and equality for all.

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