Report Outlines A Comprehensive Policy Agenda To Protect Openness, Accessibility, And Free Expression

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Edge Project (AEP), a coalition of two dozen domestic organizations, today released a policy report underscoring the importance of maintaining a free and open internet amid the mounting threat posed by digital autocracies such as China and Russia.

For more than three decades, the United States has been on the forefront of the internet revolution. The U.S. has led the world in establishing a free and open internet that is deeply rooted in American values and that has democratized information, spurred opportunity, and fostered prosperity on a global scale. 

However, the free and open internet and the democratic values it supports are increasingly under threat from digital autocracies, namely China and Russia, who seek to undermine our values and degrade our economic and geopolitical might.  

The new report outlines a comprehensive policy agenda, centered around three pillars, that will advance American values, protect America’s national security, and foster future economic prosperity at home and across the globe:

  • Slow the spread of digital authoritarianism by protecting American democracy from foreign influence, implementing security protocols to protect global information flows, and accelerating America’s ability to innovate and develop cutting-edge technologies.
  • Promote free speech within and across borders by encouraging industry standards that protect freedom of expression online, implementing intermediary liability laws that protect free speech, and stopping the spread of internet shutdowns.
  • Build a stronger internet to connect people to each other and their governments by leveraging technology to increase civic engagement, ensuring universal internet access, enacting federal privacy laws, and developing digital literacy programs.

“An open, accessible internet is critical to sustaining a healthy democracy, supporting free expression, and fostering economic growth and prosperity,” said Doug Kelly, CEO of the American Edge Project. “We cannot stand idly by as autocracies with diametrically different values seek to replace the vibrant internet of the past decades with one that is defined by censorship and surveillance.”

To read the report in its entirety, please click here.

On May 18, the American Edge Project announced that former Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez is joining Chairman Greg Walden in leading the group’s efforts on internet openness, accessibility, and free expression. 


The American Edge Project is a coalition of domestic organizations representing a cross-section of U.S. innovators who are dedicated to telling the story about technology’s positive influence on America’s economy and the vital role innovation plays in our society. Former New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, former U.S. Representative Chris Carney, and former Federal Election Commission Chairman Bradley A. Smith are directors of the American Edge Project. AEP’s National Security Advisory Board is comprised of Former White House Counterterrorism and Homeland Security Advisor Frances Townsend; retired four-star General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., United States Marine Corps (USMC), who served as former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and former Acting Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Michael J. Morell. Former U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Kent Conrad (D-ND) serve as Co-Chairs of the Project’s Economic Advisory Board. Former U.S. Representative Greg Walden (R-OR) and Former U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) serve as Co-Chairs of the Project’s Open & Accessible Internet Advisory Board. 

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