NRB will bring together an expert panel, including FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, next week on Capitol Hill to discuss Internet freedom, specifically the growing tension between free speech rights of web users and free market interests of new media corporations.
As companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook have become giants in the online world, NRB last year released the results of an 18-month study, spearheaded by NRB Senior Vice President and General Counsel Craig Parshall, that evaluated the risk of religious viewpoint censorship due to the practices and policies of new media platforms. The report’s importance was heightened with Apple’s startling decision to pull the Manhattan Declaration app from its App Store in late 2010. At the release of the “True Liberty in a New Media Age” report, Parshall noted that most “of the new media platforms we studied get a failing grade.”
Recognizing the importance of free market principles, particularly pronounced in the growth and success of web-based communications technology, NRB’s panel discussion will focus on ways to promote voluntary recognition of First Amendment principles by new media companies. After opening remarks by NRB President & CEO Dr. Frank Wright and Jacki Pick, Counsel for Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), the panel discussion will feature FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation, Craig Parshall of NRB, and Kelly Shackelford of Liberty Institute. The panel will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15 in Room 340 of the Cannon House Office Building.
• Read the “True Liberty in a New Media Age” report, the first of NRB’s John Milton Project for Religious Free Speech.
• Read an article by NRB President & CEO Dr. Frank Wright about NRB’s work in this area.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations