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Ron Paul's next revolution: Internet freedom

Ron Paul, the man who brought 'End the Fed' into Republican mainstream now has tabbed Internet freedom as a new crusade to be carried on by his son Rand in the Senate.

By Staff writer / July 6, 2012

Sen. Rand Paul (R) of Kentucky speaks on behalf of his father, Rep. Ron Paul (R) of Texas, after a GOP presidential debate in Manchester, N.H., earlier this year.

Evan Vucci/AP/File

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It doesn't have quite the ring of "End the Fed," but Ron Paul's next revolution is a little more tuned in to the 21st century: the battle for Internet freedom.

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The Texas congressman and GOP presidential candidate made eliminating the Federal Reserve the cornerstone of his libertarian political program for more than three decades. Alongside his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R) of Kentucky, however, the Paul movement is going to shift gears to online liberty after Paul père's bill to audit the Fed gets its moment in the sun in the House later this month. (The bill will die there, however, as it has no prospects in a Senate controlled by Democrats.)

The announcement, built into a  manifesto called "The Technology Revolution," released today, from the Paul-backing grassroots group Campaign for Liberty, raises three questions. What does the family Paul want out of Internet freedom? Will they be successful? And what does the change do for the libertarian movement more broadly?

The manifesto builds its case around two fundamental views: the Internet moves faster than government's ability to regulate it and the main obstacles to economy progress and individual freedom online come from government intervention. 

"Around the world, the real threat to Internet freedom comes not from bad people or inefficient markets – we can and will always route around them – but from governments' foolish attempts to manage and control innovation," according to the manifesto.

But it's not just government that draws libertarian ire.

"The road to tyranny is being paved by a collectivist-Industrial complex – a dangerous brew of wealthy, international NGO's, progressive do-gooders, corporate cronies and sympathetic political elites" that want to shackle the Internet, according to the manifesto.

Success in this struggle is, like so much else in the Paul canon, about keeping meddling hands out of the way so that markets and individuals can make their own decisions.

"Technology revolutionaries succeed because of the decentralized nature of the Internet which defies government control," according to the manifesto.

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