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My Journey to CEO and the Future of Public Knowledge

It is my honor this month to take over as President and CEO of Public Knowledge where I have spent the last seven years working as part of an incredible team. I’ve devoted many years to Public Knowledge because I believe it is a special institution. Under our mission to “promote free expression, an open internet, and access to affordable communications tools and creative works,” the PK team prides itself on the breadth of tech policy issues we cover, the expert analysis we offer, and the trusted resources we provide for both policymakers and the broader technology-using public. In this new role as PK President, I wanted to share why my career path has taught me that Public Knowledge’s work and expertise is needed now more than ever.

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A Regulator to Fit the Growing Regulatory Consensus

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently published an op-ed in the Washington Post naming a role for government and regulation around four specific policies that continue to be concerns for users of Facebook and broader digital platforms. In two areas (privacy and political advertising) Zuckerberg reiterates Facebook’s agreement with previous legislative proposals, including parts of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union and (although not named) concepts from the Honest Ads Act introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar, Mark Warner, and the late John McCain. In addition to these two topics, Zuckerberg also moves towards responding to calls from the public interest community for stronger content moderation of hateful content and for meaningful data portability to promote competition in a market that trends towards dominant platforms. While some may view yet another Facebook op-ed cynically, I believe this one should be welcomed.

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Agenda for the 116th Congress: Bring Back Consumer Protection and a Fair Marketplace

As Americans woke this morning from their long night of watching election results, there was a new political reality in Washington. A Democratic Party takeover the House of Representatives has created divided government again. Just under two years ago, Public Knowledge President & CEO Gene Kimmelman described a fight for fairness under the newly elected President and Congress. Although fairness is often referenced by President Trump, Americans have not experienced a great deal of it over the past two years in tech policy. This newly elected Congress now has a new opportunity to return to protecting an American public who has seen their interests ignored over the past two years of tech policy. Here are a few areas of focus for legislators looking to bring greater fairness to a technology marketplace that leaves consumers powerless to dominant companies.

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What to Do Now: How We Save Net Neutrality

Despite public outrage and Congressional pressure, Chairman Ajit Pai succeeded in his repeal of vital net neutrality rules at the Federal Communications Commission’s last open meeting of 2017. This attack on the open internet also rolled back Title II classification of broadband and abdicated the FCC’s regulatory authority over the internet to the Federal Trade Commission.

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LTE-U Can Harm Consumers, but Only If the FCC Allows It

Unlicensed spectrum has never been more popular! The reason people love unlicensed spectrum is because it is the “public commons” of spectrum that is open to anyone to use and has led to innovations that people use every day. Technologies such as Bluetooth, cordless phones, baby monitors, and Wi-Fi all come from use of unlicensed spectrum, and we expect to see many new innovations in the near future as a result of unlicensed spectrum, such as self-driving cars.

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