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NATOA Files Brief in Open Internet Rules Court Case

NATOA joined Reed Hundt, Tyrone Brown, Michael Copps, Nicholas Johnson, and Susan Crawford in a court brief responding to claims made by Verizon that the FCC’s Open Internet Rules violate the companies First and Fifth Amendment rights.  Verizon is currently challenging the rules in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.  According to Verizon, “ broadband providers possess ‘editorial discretion.   Just as a newspaper is entitled to decide which content to publish and where, broadband providers may feature some content over others.”

Because of the potential impact these assertions could have if they prevail, the consequences for American society and our economy would be very grave.  “To permit Internet access providers to become constitutionally protected gatekeepers, editors, and censors as to all knowledge and data would threaten consumers, citizens, and businesses with untold risk and cost.”

Read the brief here.

Reed Hundt served from 1993 to 1997 as Chairman of the FCC. He is currently the chair of the Aspen Institute’s International Digital Economy Accords (IDEA) Project. A graduate of Yale College and the Yale Law School, he is the author of three books, including “You Say You Want a Revolution” (2000) and “In China’s Shadow” (2006) as well as a recent e-book, “The Politics of Abundance” (2012).

Tyrone Brown was FCC Commissioner from 1977 to 1981. His career includes service in all three branches of government, beginning as a law clerk to Chief Justice Earl Warren. His diverse telecommunications experience includes stints in academia, as a business executive, as an attorney in private practice, representing Black Entertainment Television and other major media companies, and as President of the nonprofit Media Access Project.

Michael Copps served two terms as FCC Commissioner, including six months as the Commission’s Acting Chairman, before stepping down in 2012. Prior to joining the FCC, he was Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Development and served for over a dozen years as Chief of Staff for Senator Ernest Hollings (D-SC). He has also held positions at a Fortune 500 company and at a major trade association.
Nicholas Johnson served as an FCC Commissioner from 1966 to 1973. He currently teaches at the University of Iowa College of Law. The recipient of three Presidential appointments, Johnson is the author of several books and has also served as a public television host, columnist, school board member, congressional candidate, Supreme Court law clerk, public interest advocate, administrator, manager and corporate representative. 

Susan Crawford served as a Special Assistant to the President for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy in 2009. From 2005 to 2008, she was on the Board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). She is currently the Visiting Stanton Professor of the First Amendment at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School; she is also a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute’s Four Freedoms Center and Director of the Telecommunications Equality Project.