American innovators underpin an internet that is open, accessible, and welcoming of free expression. Not everyone around the world experiences those qualities. Some countries – with fundamentally different values – believe in a closed, censored internet, and use it to arrest and imprison citizens for political, social, or religious speech online.
To maintain America’s edge, we need a smart policy approach that doesn’t weaken companies that share American values as they compete in the global marketplace. As policymakers consider the rules and laws that govern innovators, we urge them to protect American values of openness, accessibility, and freedom of expression as essential contributors to America’s competitive advantage.
See the American Edge Project’s work on an open and accessible internet:
Concerning Report Spotlights Need to Protect an Open Internet, former U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and former U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, Nov 5, 2021
Cuba’s Internet Cutoff Highlights Fragility of Free Expression Online, former U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and former U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, July 28, 2021
Supporting America’s Global Technology Leadership, former U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and former U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, July 19, 2021
Maintaining US tech leadership is a moral imperative, Brad Smith, March 1, 2021
AEP Releases “Great Nation”, AEP press release, June 11th, 2021
The Biden Administration Must Work to Protect Free Expression Online, Heidi Heitkamp and Greg Walden, June 8th, 2021
Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Chairman Greg Walden Join American Edge Project, AEP press release, May 21st, 2021
Poll: Americans Believe Open, Accessible Internet Key to a Healthy Democracy, AEP press release, March 12th, 2021
Open & Accessible Internet Advisory Board
Senator Heidi Heitkamp
U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp was the first female Senator elected from North Dakota. She took the oath of office on January 3, 2013.
Senator Heitkamp grew up in a large family in the small town of Mantador, North Dakota. Alongside her six brothers and sisters, she learned the value of hard work and responsibility, leading her to choose a life of public service.
Senator Heitkamp served on the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship where she has worked to support the small businesses and startups throughout North Dakota and rural communities. She introduced a bill to address challenges facing startups in North Dakota, as well as other rural states and small cities, by helping them get the early stage funding they need to grow their businesses.
Senator Heitkamp received a B.A. from the University of North Dakota and a law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School. She lives in Mandan, North Dakota with her husband, Dr. Darwin Lange, a family practitioner. They have two children, Ali and Nathan.
Congressman Greg Walden
Former U.S. Rep. Greg Walden represented the people of Oregon’s Second Congressional District, which includes 20 counties in central, southern, and eastern Oregon. Walden is a lifelong Oregonian whose ancestors came to Oregon by wagon train in 1845.
Walden and his wife spent more than two decades as radio station owners in the Gorge. He’s also a licensed amateur radio operator (W7EQI). He put that small business and technology experience to work as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.
In this role, he worked to pass legislation to grow American jobs by expanding access to wireless broadband, spur new U.S. technology and innovation, and protect the Internet from government control.
In November 2014, Walden’s House Republican colleagues unanimously reelected him to serve as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).
In the 116th Congress, Walden served as the Republican Leader of the Energy and Commerce Committee.