Berin Szóka is the founder and president of TechFreedom, a Washington D.C.-based think tank dedicated to analyzing the policy and legal questions raised by technological change. He is a former senior fellow and director of the Center for Internet Freedom at The Progress & Freedom Foundation, and prior to that, he was an associate in the Communications Practice Group at Latham & Watkins LLP.
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“Unnecessarily prescriptive Internet regulation also harms users by altering, or breaking, the business models that have allowed the Internet economy to thrive. Countries pursuing Internet regulation do not only export their policy choices, they can “harm both the competitiveness of the country implementing the policies and other countries. Every time one country erects barriers to data flows, another country that relies on these data flows is also affected.”
“We applaud the NTIA for its undertaking in this complex area. Most important, NTIA is starting at the correct place by defining fundamental principles and precepts, not by jumping immediately into a mode of trying to propose regulations for undefined or under-defined perceived problems. Yet the case for federal legislation, if only to preempt exceptionally sloppy and inconsistent state regulation, is growing, making this issue increasingly urgent.”
“Berin and Nilay have differed on a few issues regarding tech policy, like net neutrality, but what they do agree on is the state of the tech policy conversation — it’s bad. Szóka says Republicans he has previously worked with are now getting important topics like Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act wrong, and bad-faith politicians are misinterpreting it to try to score points and pass policy in their favor.”
“Berin Szoka speaks on a panel held by the American Legislative Exchange Council.”
“Putting principles first would make laws technology-neutral and thus more broadly relevant. We should empower civil-liberties regulators to assess whether a service or organization has denied services or equal treatment to minorities. We should let a privacy watchdog assesses whether the right to privacy is upheld. Antitrust regulators should determine whether antitrust and competition principles are respected. Challenges to free speech should be anchored in speech laws, not left to businesses to decide.“