|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 17, 2017
Supports Rollback of ‘Heavy-Handed’ Title II
WASHINGTON (NRB) –National Religious Broadcasters today filed comments in the Federal Communications Commission’s proceeding on “Restoring Internet Freedom” and applauded the agency for working to roll back the assumption of “heavy-handed” new powers over the internet in 2015.
In the filing, Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, said, “Free speech and free enterprise have been bedrock principles for the internet as it has flourished, and we must not allow those foundations to be eroded.”
Johnson highlighted comments submitted three years ago by NRB in what eventually became the agency’s Title II Order, particularly noting that NRB has argued that if the commission feels it needs more internet powers, it should seek congressional authorization. Quoting that previous filing, Johnson said, “NRB also stated that ‘asserting jurisdiction under Title II with its heavy hand of telecommunications regulations is ill-advised.’”
While emphasizing caution about new regulatory regimes and the value of free enterprise, Johnson also noted that in its 2014 comment, NRB suggested, “Any regulation of broadband providers requires a broad picture that includes an evaluation of the policies and practices of edge providers in order to protect the free speech interests of citizen users.” He stated that incidents of censorship of religious and ideologically conservative viewpoints by some major edge providers remains a problem.
Finally, as part of the filing, Johnson submitted a 2015 resolution of the NRB Board of Directors, a body of approximately a hundred key leaders among Christian communicators, that unanimously opposed the imposition of Title II on the internet. That resolution urged the U.S. Government “to uphold a position of a ‘light touch’ toward the internet,” and it expressed concern that “heavy-handed” regulations could “send a poor signal to nations that have or are considering more state governance of the Internet.”
The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is a nonpartisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers. Our mission is to advance biblical truth, promote media excellence, and defend free speech. In addition to promoting standards of excellence, integrity, and accountability, NRB provides networking, educational, ministry, and fellowship opportunities for its members. Learn more at www.nrb.org.
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