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.
Canada’s Attempt to Make News Aggregators Pay for Content Could Lead to Lower-Quality News
The Canadian House of Commons held a hearing this week to discuss C-18, a bill that would force online news aggregators like Google and Facebook to pay news publishers for displaying their stories. This is a flawed approach on a number of fronts.
How to Address Political Speech on Social Media in the United States
Policymakers could improve content moderation on social media by building international consensus on content moderation guidelines, providing more resources to address state-sponsored disinformation, and increasing transparency in content moderation decisions.
The Supreme Court May Take Out One of the Pillars of the Modern Internet
The Supreme Court’s decision on Gonzalez v. Google LLC could change the way the Internet functions, potentially leaving both social media companies and users worse off.
Circuit Court’s Ruling on Texas Social Media Law Carries Disastrous Consequences for Platforms and Users
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Texas’ social media law on September 16, 2022, with consequences for companies and Internet users across the country.
FTC Announcement on “Commercial Surveillance” Highlights the Need for Federal Data Privacy Legislation
Not only is FTC’s rulemaking announcement an unnecessary distraction from legislative efforts, but it is a questionable power grab overstretching its statutory authority that will ultimately come at the expense of consumers.
Maintaining a Light-Touch Approach to Data Protection in the United States
Data privacy regulations impose significant costs on businesses and the economy. Effective, targeted federal legislation would address actual privacy harms while reducing costs that hinder productivity and innovation.
NIST Takes First Big Step in Preparing for Post-Quantum Cryptography
In order to remain a world leader in information technology and mitigate any potential risks associated with emerging technologies, the U.S. government should scale up its investment in quantum computing applications, particularly near-term applications.
Three Bills Show Remaining Divisions in Attempt to Reach a Compromise on Federal Data Privacy Legislation
Congress’ top priority as it seeks to pass comprehensive data privacy legislation should be striking the right balance between protecting consumer privacy without overly complicating compliance or restricting productivity and innovation.
Upholding Texas’ Social Media Law Will Make Users Worse Off
A federal appeals court ruled on May 11, 2022, that Texas can enforce its recently enacted social media law, which prohibits social media platforms with over 50 million monthly active users in the United States from “censoring” users.
Comments to the SEC Regarding Its Proposed Rule on Cybersecurity Risk Management, Strategy, Governance, and Incidence Disclosure
ITIF supports SEC’s efforts to ensure publicly traded companies disclose relevant information on their cybersecurity practices and material cybersecurity incidents, which would enable investors to make more informed decisions, in line with existing SEC disclosure requirements. This type of transparency will not only help investors make more informed decisions, but it should also incentivize companies to adopt cybersecurity best practices.
Obama’s Proposed Section 230 Reforms Would Have Unintended Consequences
Blaming social media for weakening democracy globally also seems to be an incomplete portrayal that ignores many other factors at play.
The Declaration for the Future of the Internet Is an Invitation for the EU to Dictate Global Policy
It is a mistake to think that the Internet needs to be governed by one set of laws. Just as nations have different laws in the offline world, they should have different laws in the online world depending on their values, institutions, and legal traditions.
Recent Events and Presentations
PoliceTech: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.