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For Immediate Release
September 19, 2011

Contact:
Laura Wright
Mary Montemayor
703-330-7000


 

 

GOOGLE: LITMUS TEST FOR FREE SPEECH

 

Manassas, VA –  Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee should ask Google about free religious speech and expression on Wednesday, when the Internet giant’s Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, testifies before the Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights Subcommittee.

NRB expressed deep concern about Google’s past practices and current policies last Thursday when the association unveiled the long-awaited first report of the John Milton Project for Religious Free Speech at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. This report evaluated the practices and policies of new media technology companies to determine the risk of religious viewpoint censorship occurring on their platforms. It specifically highlights the practices of Apple and its iTunes App Store, Google, Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, as well as Internet service providers AT&T, Comcast and Verizon.

“Whether or not Google is a legal monopoly is for others to decide. In my view, they have been a success in a very competitive media marketplace,” said Dr. Frank Wright, NRB President & CEO. “Having said that, I do think any disinterested observer would acknowledge that Google’s market power is significant bordering on dominant. For this reason, legitimate questions can and must be asked about whether or not Google’s policies constrain or hinder free speech.”

“That broader context makes Wednesday’s hearing extremely significant,” added NRB Sr. Vice President & General Counsel, Craig Parshall. “Eric Schmidt has spoken out publically on the fact that web-related media platforms like Google are a ‘force for good’ in the world. But with Google's actions in the past of censoring religious content, and discriminating against faith organizations by excluding them from its 'Google for Non-profits' web tools, we are waiting for Mr. Schmidt to make good on his promise. We hope that he does.”

About NRB
The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is a non-partisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers. Our mission is to advance biblical truth; to promote media excellence; and to 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 Convention & Exposition is the largest nationally and internationally recognized event dedicated solely to assist those in the field of Christian communications. The dynamic Exposition consists of nearly 300 companies and is an active marketplace for those seeking tools and services to expand their ministries. NRB 2012 is being held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, TN, February 18-21, 2012. For registration and other Convention information go to: www.nrbconvention.org

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National Religious Broadcasters
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Manassas, VA 20110
(703) 330-7000