Is the Techlash Justified?
Are the perils of the Internet rooted in technology or humanity? The Internet is messy, but so is the world that it has been woven into. Amidst all of this complexity, the Internet has connected the world and made the flow of commerce and information more efficient. Unfortunately, this can be used for good or bad. We now see a growing backlash against technologies that were once praised. This session will discuss issues underlying “Techlash,” the regulatory trends that have emerged in the wake of the Internet’s perceived role in these issues, and solutions to address concerns while preserving the promise of benefits the Internet makes possible. If you’re feeling the tech backlash, this session is for you!
Lee Rainie is the director of internet and technology research at Pew Research Center. Under his leadership, the Center has issued more than 650 reports based on its surveys that examine people’s online activities and the internet’s role in their lives. The American Sociological Association gave Rainie its award for “excellence in the reporting on social issues” in 2014 and described his work as the “most authoritative source of reliable data on the use and impact of the internet and mobile connectivity.” Rainie is a co-author of Networked: The new social operating system and five books about the future of the internet that are drawn from the Center’s research. He gives several dozen speeches a year to government officials, media leaders, scholars and students, technology executives, librarians, and nonprofit groups about the changing media ecosystem. Prior to launching Pew Research Center’s technology research, Rainie was managing editor of U.S. News & World Report. He is a graduate of Harvard University and has a master’s degree in political science from Long Island University.
Julie E. Cohen is the Mark Claster Mamolen Professor of Law and Technology at the Georgetown University Law Center. She teaches and writes about surveillance, privacy and data protection, intellectual property, information platforms, and the ways that networked information and communication technologies are reshaping legal institutions. She is the author of Between Truth and Power: The Legal Constructions of Informational Capitalism (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2019); Configuring the Networked Self: Law, Code and the Play of Everyday Practice (Yale University Press, 2012), which won the 2013 Association of Internet Researchers Book Award and was shortlisted for the Surveillance & Society Journal’s 2013 Book Prize; and numerous journal articles and book chapters.
Fred Humphries is Corporate Vice President of U.S Government Affairs for Microsoft. Under his leadership, U.S. Government Affairs provides expertise in policy, outreach, political engagement, and government affairs that helps advance the company’s advocacy goals. Humphries is Microsoft’s chief public policy advocate internally and externally on all aspects of federal, state and civic affairs. He sets the company’s strategy and government affairs outreach on the most pressing policy issues facing the technology industry including cloud computing, taxes, privacy, trade, cyber security, education, immigration, and emerging technologies. He also communicates with policymakers on Microsoft’s leadership role in fostering economic and job opportunities in the U.S. In 2000, Humphries joined Microsoft as Director of State Governmental Affairs, building a team responsible for outreach to our nation’s governors, mayors and local elected officials in every state capital. In that position, Humphries integrated on-the-ground state advocacy work into Microsoft’s overall corporate strategy, in coordination with the public sector, policy and lobbying teams. He was promoted to Microsoft’s Managing Director of U.S. Government Affairs in 2009 and Corporate Vice President in 2015. Humphries received a J.D. from Temple University School of Law and a B.A. in Political Science from Morehouse College. He proudly serves on the boards of numerous non-profit and public service organizations including Temple University Beasley School of Law, WETA Board of Trustees, Information Technology Industry Council, and The Information Technology Industry Foundation, Internet Association, National Association of Manufacturers, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Martha’s Table Leadership Council, Software.org, Ford’s Theatre Board of Governors and the USTR Trade Advisory Committee on Africa. Humphries resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife Kim. They have two adult children.
Ambassador Karen Kornbluh is senior fellow and director of German Marshall Fund’s Digital Innovation Democracy Initiative, working to shape a future where technology strengthens rather than undermines democratic values. This program contends with the challenge of online disinformation as well as other technology policy issues including 21st century jobs and innovation, democratic implications of frontier technologies, and cyber dimensions of national security. In addition, it will develop a framework for global transatlantic leadership on technology policy. A leading voice at the intersection of digital and economic policy, technology, and foreign affairs, Kornbluh comes to GMF from the Council on Foreign Relations, where she was senior fellow for digital policy. Kornbluh served as policy director to Barack Obama in the US Senate and was the Obama administration’s ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) from 2009-12. In this role she spearheaded development of the first global Internet Policymaking Principle and launched both the OECD's Gender Initiative and the Middle East-North Africa Women's Business Forum. In addition to her extensive government service, Kornbluh served as executive vice president for external affairs at data company Nielsen. At strategy firm Telesis, she consulted to Fortune 500 manufacturing companies. She began her career as an economist at forecasting firm Townsend-Greenspan. Kornbluh was a visiting fellow at the Center for American Policy and a Markle Fellow and she served on the U.S. Federal Economic and Statistics Advisory Council; was a senior advisor to McKinsey on technology, a member of the World Economic Forum’s AI, IoT and Future of Trust Network, and co-chair of the Chamber of Commerce’s Digital Connect forum. Kornbluh’s writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic Monthly, Democracy, and the Harvard Law and Policy Review .
Maureen Ohlhausen is a partner at Baker Botts in Washington, DC. Previously, Maureen led the Federal Trade Commission as Acting Chairman and Commissioner. She directed all aspects of the FTC's antitrust work, including merger review and conduct enforcement, and steered all FTC consumer protection enforcement, with a particular emphasis on privacy and technology issues. A thought leader, Maureen has published dozens of articles on antitrust, privacy, IP, regulation, FTC litigation, telecommunications, and international law issues in prestigious publications and has testified over a dozen times before the U.S. Congress. Maureen has relationships with officials in the U.S. and abroad, with a particular emphasis on Europe and China. She has received numerous awards, including the FTC's Robert Pitofsky Lifetime Achievement Award. Prior to her role as Commissioner, Maureen led the FTC's Internet Access Task Force, which produced an influential report analyzing competition and consumer protection legal issues in the areas of broadband and Internet.