IAmA Congressman Darrell Issa, Internet defender and techie. Ask away!
Good morning. I'm Congressman Darrell Issa from Vista, CA (near San Diego) by way of Cleveland, OH. Before coming to Congress, I served in the US Army and in the innovation trenches as an entrepreneur. You may know me from my start-up days with Directed Electronics, where I earned 37 patents – including for the Viper car alarm. (The "Viper armed!" voice on the alarm is mine.)
Now, I'm the top taxpayer watchdog on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where we work to root out waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement in the federal bureaucracy and make government leaner and more effective. I also work on the House Judiciary Committee, where I bring my innovation experience and technology background to the table on intellectual property (IP), patent, trademark/copyright law and tech issues…like the now-defunct SOPA & PIPA.
With other Congressman like Jared Polis, Jason Chaffetz and Zoe Lofgren – and with millions of digital citizens who spoke out - I helped stop SOPA and PIPA earlier this year, and introduced a solution I believe works better for American IP holders and Internet users: the OPEN Act. We developed the Madison open legislative platform and launched KeepTheWebOPEN.com to open the bills to input from folks like Redditors. I believe this crowdsourced approach delivered a better OPEN Act. Yesterday, I opened the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in Madison, which is a new front in our work to stop secretive government actions that could fundamentally harm the Internet we know and love.
When I'm not working in Washington and San Diego – or flying lots of miles back and forth – I like to be on my motorcycle, play with gadgets and watch Battlestar Galactica and Two and a Half Men.
Redditors, fire away!
- UPDATE #1 heading into office now...will jump on answering in ten minutes
- UPDATE #2 jumping off into meetings now. Will hop back on throughout the day. Thank you for your questions and giving me the chance to answer them.
UPDATE #3 Thank you, Redditors, for the questions. I'm going to try to jump on today for a few more.
UPDATE #4 Going to try to get to a few last questions today. Happy Friday.