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Ashley Johnson

Ashley Johnson

Senior Policy Manager

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-524-5549

Twitter: @ashleyjnsn

Ashley Johnson is a senior policy analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. She researches and writes about Internet policy issues such as privacy, security, and platform regulation. She was previously at Software.org: the BSA Foundation and holds a master’s degree in security policy from The George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Brigham Young University.

Recent Publications

February 20, 2024

How Congress Can Foster a Digital Single Market in America

In areas ranging from data privacy to content moderation, states are creating patchworks of regulation that confuse consumers, complicate compliance, and undermine the digital economy. It’s time for Congress to step in and establish a consistent national approach to digital policy.

February 16, 2024

Why Not Ban Everything Potentially Dangerous for Kids?

Effective protection for children online requires a combination of parental responsibility, industry standards, and regulation, not blanket restrictions and bans.

February 6, 2024

Congress' Blame Game Won't Keep Children Safe Online

The Senate Committee on the Judiciary's most recent “Big Tech” hearing on online child sexual exploitation highlighted everything wrong with the current debate surrounding children’s online safety.

January 26, 2024

Social Media Panic Is the New Video Game Panic

While there are real concerns associated with social media, especially as it relates to children and teens, policymakers will only create more problems by legislating out of fear and public pressure.

November 17, 2023

Lacking a Federal Standard, States Try and Fail to Solve Problems Faced by Kids Online

The landscape of state legislation addressing children’s online safety and privacy demonstrates not only the difficulty of regulating social media and other online services but also the need for a federal standard.

November 15, 2023

Testimony to the Baltimore City Council Committee on Health, Environment, and Technology Regarding Facial Recognition Technology

Facial recognition has increased public safety, convenience for consumers and security for businesses.

October 26, 2023

The Facts Behind Allegations of Political Bias on Social Media

Before policymakers jump straight to regulating social media to address alleged bias—and likely running into First Amendment issues—they need answers to several key questions, namely: Is there political bias on social media? What does this bias look like? And how does it affect American politics?

October 5, 2023

The Supreme Court Could Save the Internet (Again)

If the Supreme Court upholds Florida and Texas’s laws on social media content moderation, it is likely that more states will pass similar legislation, raising the costs to social media companies and impacting even more users across the country.

August 8, 2023

New Evidence Shows Blaming Social Media for Political Polarization Is Misguided

Four new research papers in the journals Science and Nature studied the impact of Facebook and Instagram on key political attitudes and behaviors during the 2020 election cycle. They found little evidence that key features of the platforms led to polarization.

July 31, 2023

Restoring US Leadership on Digital Policy

The United States could regain its position as a global leader on digital policy by prioritizing a pro-innovation agenda, cooperating with its allies to advance free trade and democratic values, and pushing back against harmful narratives and policies.

June 13, 2023

Proposals for Tech to Pay for News Rely on Flawed Arguments

In Congress, California, and Canada, lawmakers are relying on faulty logic—the argument that news aggregators take advantage of publishers—in a misguided attempt to save local journalism. History shows that these measures are not likely to succeed at anything more than limiting consumers’ access to quality news content.

May 30, 2023

For Teens on Social Media, the Jury Is Still Out, But the Judgment Is Already In

The effect of social media on children has been at the center of recent debate, with multiple bills at the federal and state level and recent advisories from the U.S. Surgeon General and the American Psychological Association. Despite a lack of scientific consensus on how social media affects children, lawmakers have been rushing to implement policies that would, in many cases, create more problems than they solve.

More publications by Ashley Johnson

Recent Events and Presentations

November 15, 2023

Children on Social Media and the Multistate Lawsuit Against Meta

Watch now for a panel discussion on the facts of the case, the claims against Meta, and how this lawsuit fits into the broader discussion over content moderation, privacy, children’s safety, and the responsibilities of social media platforms.

July 18, 2023

Age Verification Tech for Social Media: Exploring the Opportunities and Pitfalls

Watch now for the panel dsicussion focusing on age verification technology for social media, AI age estimation, and current capabilities and limitations that policymakers should consider when crafting legislation designed to protect children.

May 16, 2023

AI, Education and Children’s Privacy Concerns

Gillian Diebold and Ashley Johnson moderate discussions about AI and education and children’s privacy concerns with emerging technology at the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) Annual Conference, hosted by BBB National Programs.

March 9, 2023

Big Tech & Speech Summit: The Fragility of Section 230

Ashley Johnson speaks at the Big Tech & Speech Summit, an exclusive forum addressing the red-hot controversies impacting Big Tech in Washington.

February 22, 2023

Supreme Court Argues Section 230: What’s Next for Congress?

Ashley Johnson offers her perspective on the oral arguments in Gonzalez v. Google, the broader Section 230 reform debate, different legislative proposals for altering Section 230, and the implications of potential changes to Section 230.

February 7, 2023

What Will It Take for Congress to Pass Bipartisan Privacy Legislation?

Watch the discussion about the progress Congress has made in crafting bipartisan privacy legislation, the ADPPA’s current legislative status, and the remaining areas of debate regarding the legislation.

January 11, 2023

Police Tech: Maximizing Benefits and Reducing Risks

Join ITIF in-person for a discussion about what emerging technologies are on the horizon for law enforcement and how police departments can get the most out of these technologies while addressing some of the legitimate concerns.

June 15, 2022

Children’s Privacy in Review: The Future of COPPA

View ITIF's panel discussion on whether and how the FTC or Congress should update COPPA to protect children’s privacy while increasing the quality and quantity of online services for children.

November 9, 2021

Protecting Political Speech While Reducing Harm on Social Media

ITIF hosted a discussion on how Congress and social media platforms can balance free speech and harm reduction in the regulation and moderation of political speech online.

July 15, 2021

Removing Barriers to Accessibility on Federal Government Websites

ITIF hosted an expert panel discussion on federal government web accessibility and policy proposals for agencies to improve their compliance.

February 25, 2021

If Congress Overhauls Section 230 to Make Platforms More Liable for User Speech, What Will Change?

ITIF hosted a discussion of these issues with leading experts on intermediary liability, free speech, and content moderation to discuss the current debate surrounding Section 230 and how the debate may unfold in the coming year.

May 27, 2020

Cybersecurity in a Time of Physical Distancing

ITIF hosted a video webinar to discuss the cybersecurity risks facing workers, students, and organizations during the pandemic and how policymakers can help them become more resilient and better prepared to face future challenges.

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