A tinge of sadness touches us upon news that the Progress and Freedom Foundation’s last day is this Friday. NetChoice has had ultimate respect for PFF over the years, and most recently for Adam Thierer and Berin Szoka – the tech policy experts among experts. Over the past few years, NetChoice worked closely with Adam and Berin on Internet privacy and child safety issues.
Among many standout moments of mutual efforts, one immediately comes to mind—there was one hearing where Adam helped set the record straight in Raleigh, North Carolina. He showed up to oppose an age verification mandate on social networking websites. Attorney General Roy Cooper led off the hearing with a truly sad story about a child who was victimized by a sex predator (but not reflective of the Internet writ large). The tone was therefore set in favor of a bill that would ostensibly help kids be safe online, but which in reality was a parental verification and age verification pitfall. Until Adam spoke.
In his authoritative voice, Adam set the record straight on children’s privacy law (COPPA) and how the North Carolina bill was not merely an addition to existing federal law. He discussed unintended consequences, knew the substance better than anybody in the room, and helped stop the bill from passing out of committee.
But while we’re sad to see PFF go, we know that Adam and Berin are here to stay. We look forward to working with them on future tech policy issues.
-Steve & Braden