|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 28, 2017
WASHINGTON (NRB) – National Religious Broadcasters welcomes a proposed resolution to the Federal Communications Commission’s proceeding on “Restoring Internet Freedom” that would roll back the agency’s assumption of heavy-handed new powers over the internet in 2015.
Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, said, “Chairman Ajit Pai is to be applauded for his fair and transparent efforts to return to a ‘light-touch’ regulatory environment that honors free speech and free enterprise online. I am particularly pleased that the agency’s draft order has not kowtowed to the alarmism, thuggish threats, and personal attacks of the radical left. Moreover, I am encouraged that it seems to recognize the irony we have noted that certain industry players who profess concern about censorship are themselves egregious censors, especially of conservative and Christian viewpoints."
In filings with the agency, NRB has argued that “asserting jurisdiction under Title II with its heavy hand of telecommunications regulations is ill-advised,” and has suggested that if the commission feels it needs more internet powers, it should seek congressional authorization. In addition, while emphasizing caution about new regulatory regimes and the value of free enterprise, NRB also highlighted that incidents of censorship of religious and ideologically conservative viewpoints by some major edge providers are a problem, and 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.”
Johnson added, “The internet was not broken in 2015, and a big government usurpation of power over the internet was unnecessary and potentially dangerous. Most assuredly, it sent mixed signals about where our government stands on internet freedom to observers near and abroad.”
At the time of the partisan 2015 FCC vote to assert Title II internet authority, the NRB Board of Directors, a body of approximately a hundred key leaders among Christian communicators, unanimously approved a resolution opposed to such a move. The NRB Board was particularly concerned that free speech values be upheld online.
The NRB Board also highlighted that such action may “send a poor signal to nations that have or are considering more state governance of the internet,” and may encourage “repressive regimes that would like an international body like the International Telecommunications Union of the United Nations to have increased authority over the internet.”
The full text of this resolution is available online here.
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.
About the NRB Convention
The annual NRB International Christian Media Convention is the largest nationally and internationally recognized event dedicated solely to assist those in the field of Christian communications. The dynamic Exposition consists of around 200 companies and is an active marketplace for those seeking tools and services to expand their organizations. The next Convention, Proclaim 18, will be held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, February 27-March 2, 2018. For more information, go to www.nrbconvention.org.
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