The Media Institute has officially taken the wraps off its new initiative, the Global Free Speech and Internet program, which will be overseen by an advisory council chaired by former FCC commissioner Robert McDowell, now a partner at Wiley Rein.
McDowell will also join the institute as an ex officio member of the board. The program will promote the Internet as an "open and interoperable platform, largely free from government intrusion, where information can be shared freely." In that spirit, it will push back against international efforts to promote a government-centric model of Internet governance. That was a signature issue for McDowell during his time as FCC commissioner. “Through its work products and activities, this program will strive to be a significant force in combating centralized control of the Internet,” said Media Institute president Patrick Maines in announcing the program, which was first reported by B&C/Multichannel News.
In addition to McDowell, advisory council members are Stuart Brotman, professor, Harvard; ambassador David Gross, Wiley Rein partner and former head of U.S. delegations to various International telecommunications conferences; Larry Kilman, secretary general of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers; Karim Lesina, VP, AT&T; Louise Oliver, former George W. Bush appointee to UNESCO; Jackie Ruff, VP, Verizon; Sally Shipman Wentworth, VP, Internet Society; and Christopher Yoo, University of Pennsylvania law professor.