The DeLorean parked outside the Capitol Hill Club (Anne L. Kim/CQ Roll Call)
You might have spotted a DeLorean around the Hill on Thursday and if you’re wondering why, it’s part of a campaign by Americans for Tax Reform to bring attention to their call for an update to tech laws they say are outdated.
Technocrat caught up with Katie McAuliffe, executive director of the group’s Digital Liberty project, earlier Thursday when a replica of the DeLorean used in the 1989 film “Back to the Future Part II” was parked outside the Capitol Hill Club.
“I mean it’s really hard to get people to pay attention to, like, communications law,” McAuliffe said, “but it’s not hard to get people to pay attention to a DeLorean with a flux capacitor.”
While technologies predicted in the movie are “basically here,” she said — except of course for time travel — the “regulations are way behind.”
“Not saying that Americans for Tax Reform loves new regulations or anything like that, but some updates would be very well-received,” she said. “Particularly when you’re looking at the whole net neutrality debate and… reigning in the FCC power on that.”
She said an update of the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Law is needed, as is an examination of the Communications Act, last updated in 1996.
Leaflets that were distributed nearby for calling an update of the 1996 Telecommunications Act referenced the film: “Unlike Doc Brown and Marty McFly, American innovators need roads (by way of regulatory clarity) to guide them into the future. Congress can pave the road to a better, more innovative digital future by modernizing our obsolete communications laws.”
It’s apparently their third year of a Twitter campaign calling for an update to the Telecommunications Act.
Other locations the DeLorean visited Thursday were The Monocle restaurant and Americans for Tax Reform, McAuliffe said.
The interior of the DeLorean. (Anne L. Kim/CQ Roll Call)