Tech Policy Leaders Podcast

Amplifying the Brightest Minds in Tech Policy Since 2015

WashingTech's Tech Policy Leaders is a tech policy podcast featuring interviews with the most authoritative voices in technology policy and digital transformation.

Tech Policy Leaders sheds light on how technology policy, law, and media regulations affect all of us at such a crucial moment in world history.

WashingTech Founder & CEO Joseph Shepherd Miller, Esq. talks with journalists, lawyers, activists, and policymakers to understand what's at stake in current debates about technology, privacy and free speech, in a digital age shaped by intense political and cultural forces.

A Regulatory Transparency Project focused on Technology Policy

Launched in 2015 as a technology "regulatory transparency project" to ensure the broadband industry didn't interfere with progressive activists' ultimate goal of keeping the internet open, our chief concern was to bring diverse and underrepresented, expert, technology policy voices to the public debate, as a way to stimulate discussion about key issues raised in one of the only publications to highlight them at the time -- the MIT Technology Review.

In addition, by taking into account the work of groups such as the American Enterprise Institute, with which we don't always agree, we sought to highlight -- via the first of what became many tech policy podcasts -- specifically how a typical private entity seeks to build technological innovations, how those practices created the "digital divide" in the first place, and why the economic development that catapulted a handful of billionaires didn't translate to economic development within most rural communities and communities of color.

The MIT Technology Review and WashingTech's Tech Policy podcast continue to work in partnership to activate information technology policymakers who are concerned about the way in which tech innovation may impact economic growth -- and, as a result, society's well being -- indefinitely.

Through our tech policy podcast, our "north star" is to ensure that people from all walks of life are prepared to discuss:

  • government efforts to keep the internet open.

  • what "internet freedom" and "free speech" mean in the context of Supreme Court doctrine.

  • how to support efforts to close the digital divide and promote progressive technology policy efforts in their communities.

Keeping the Internet "Open" through technology policy

For us, an "open internet" fostered via a new, regulatory transparency project meant:

  • promoting a technology policy framework that centers closing the digital divide as its primary focus.

  • launching the first technology policy podcast -- featuring interviews with technology policy influencers -- that amplifies progressive tech policy work being done between advocates, the American broadband industry, the Universal Service Administrative Company (administrators of the Universal Service Fund), and others, from across the political spectrum.

  • through our tech policy podcast, promoting policies that foster true competition within the broadband industry, by featuring interviews with technology policy influencers committed to building municipal broadband networks.

  • improving the ability of all Americans to participate in the economic growth enjoyed by emerging economies in the international community, by "meeting them where they are" with a "technology-policy-as-entertainment" tech policy podcast.

  • using our tech policy podcast to help hold government officials and private companies accountable to their decisions regarding emerging technology policy, by filing regulatory proceedings, appearing in amicus briefs, and using WashingTech's Tech Policy podcast to name technology policy efforts designed to enforce conformity with overly oppressive industry-led initiatives, own citizens' access to the internet, and exert control over marginalized groups' ability to become participants in "internet freedom," as opposed to mere consumers of it, rather than promoting viewpoint-diverse online speech and counter-narratives against hate speech.

  • changing how private companies engage the public before making decisions about information technology, and how they plan to conduct scientific research that can affect all of our well being indefinitely.

  • pushing back against bias in artificial intelligence, and virtual reality, by engaging thought leaders in the international community committed to transparency around how a typical technology-related private entity decides to disclose data, including "trade secrets" that should be made publicly-available.

The Role of Social Media Services in Shaping Tech Policy and Internet Freedom

To sow dissent and undermine democracy, authoritarian regimes and some private companies engage citizens via social media, using the vulnerabilities of internet freedom and free speech to exploit powerful political and cultural forces.

These issues frame tech policy and free speech debates.

Here are some of the questions the WashingTech Tech Policy podcast seeks to answer for the public at large.

  1. How do social media services, artificial intelligence, and looming technological advances serve to exacerbate or alleviate and the digital divide?

  2. Which government efforts and mandates recently passed in the international community use cultural forces to obstruct free speech?

  3. What is "internet freedom," who should have it, and how should private companies engage in content moderation practices in a way that preserves free speech?

  4. Should, and to what extent, should platforms and governments use artificial intelligence to implement their content moderation practices at all.

  5. Given Russia's invasion of Ukraine at such a crucial moment, and its use of social media services to sway public opinion about the 2016 election, to what extent should America and its allies seek to impair Russia's internet infrastructure?

  6. How should we discuss government efforts to moderate social media in light of activists' ultimate goal?

  7. Does it matter if online speech violates social or diplomatic norms?

  8. Who should exert control over technology and the internet, and should anyone own citizens' access to the internet?

  9. Do technology companies' content moderation practices foster all citizens' access to technological innovations and ability to exercise their right to free speech?

  10. What is the nature of governments' and private companies' technology-driven mass surveillance practices, and how do these priorities play a role in how websites moderate content?

New Technologies based in the 'Metaverse' allow everyone from across the political spectrum to tell their personal stories more effectively

During such a crucial moment in history, when we discuss government, and the extent to which private sector companies should own citizens' access to the internet efforts to regulate the internet and technological advances, we must continuously assess the implications regarding how new technological advances will affect citizens' access to life-changing technology.

These changes in the nature of information technology will affect how we think about internet freedom, in general, free speech, and content moderation practices across a growing array of platforms.

Additional regulations and guidelines, on top of the mandates recently passed, will also affect online speech across the political spectrum.

"Tech policy" isn't exactly a household term. WashingTech's Tech policy podcast strives to make it so. Our tech policy podcast is a resource that helps the public understand the laws and policies surrounding information technology, including mandates recently passed.