The Free State Foundation is a non-profit, nonpartisan think tank. Its purpose is to promote, through research and educational activities, understanding of free market, limited government, and rule of law principles at the federal level and in Maryland.
FSF focuses on eliminating unnecessary and counterproductive regulatory mandates, especially those applicable to the communications and other high-tech industries, and on reducing overly burdensome taxes, protecting individual and economic liberty, including property rights, and making government more effective, efficient, and accountable.
Who We Are
Led by Randolph J. May, FSF's President, the scholars of The Free State Foundation have decades of experience in the public policy arena and academic settings promoting free markets, secure property rights, and individual liberty. Mr. May is a nationally known legal and policy expert in the field of regulation, as well as a widely recognized expert in communications, administrative, and constitutional law. FSF's scholars combine solid academic expertise with professional and practical experience in a way that makes their research especially impactful in influencing both federal and state public policy.
New at FSF
Free State Foundation President Randolph J. May will be the featured speaker at a Federalist Society event, titled “Net Neutrality: The Future of Internet Regulation (or Lack Thereof),” on January 28, 2015. Mr. May will speak at 12 noon at the University of Maryland School of Law. Professor James Grimmelmann, Maryland Law School, will provide reactions.
On January 23, 2015, the Free State Foundation submitted its response to the Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Sixth White Paper addressing the reform of video policies. The response was authored by FSF President Randolph J. May and Senior Fellow Seth L. Cooper, and members of the Free State Foundation's Board of Academic Advisors: Michelle Connolly, Duke University; Richard A. Epstein, New York University Law School; Justin (Gus) Hurwitz, University of Nebraska College of Law; Daniel Lyons, Boston College Law School; Bruce M. Owen, Stanford University; Glen O. Robinson, University of Virginia Law School; James B. Speta, Northwestern University School of Law; and Christopher S. Yoo, University of Pennsylvania Law School.
The Free State Foundation's policy seminar titled, "Thinking the Unthinkable: Imposing the 'Utility Model' on Internet Providers" held Friday, November 14, 2014, at the National Press Club is available on two YouTube videos. A video of the opening remarks by Rep. Bob Latta, Vice Chairman, House Communications and Technology Subcommittee, and FCC Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly is available here. The second video of the lively panel discussion, moderated by FSF President Randolph May, on the pending FCC net neutrality proceeding is here, with panelists Robert Crandall, Nonresident Senior Fellow of the Economic Studies Program at Brookings Institution, and member of FSF's Board of Academic Advisors; Gerald Faulhaber, Professor Emeritus of Business Economics and Public Policy at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and former FCC Chief Economist; Deborah Taylor Tate, FSF Distinguished Adjunct Senior Fellow and former FCC Commissioner; and Michael Weinberg, Vice President of Public Knowledge. Separate printed versions of the opening remarks are also available: Rep. Bob Latta, Vice Chairman, House Communications and Technology Subcommittee’s speech is available here; FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai’s speech is available here; and FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly’s speech is available here.
View a slideshow below of the Free State Foundation's policy seminar, "Thinking the Unthinkable: Imposing the 'Utility Model' on Internet Providers," held Friday, November 14, 2014, at the National Press Club.
Free State Foundation President Randolph May will participate in a webinar, titled "Net Neutrality: FCC and Congressional Options and Alternatives for an Open Internet," on October 16 at 2 p.m. EDT. The webinar is hosted by the Digital Policy Institute (DPI), an interdisciplinary research organization based at Ball State University. Mr. May will join other distinguished panelists to discuss the legal, technical, and policy issues involved in the Net Neutrality proceedings at the Federal Communications Commission and embodied in legislative proposals being advanced in the Congress. Registration and additional information for the webinar is here.
On October 14, 2014, Free State Foundation President Randolph May will participate on a panel discussing why the media should care about net neutrality. The program is sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists and co-sponsored by Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. With an introduction by Ellen Shearer, director of the Medill Washington Program, Mr. May and other nonprofit, government, and media representatives will discuss the importance of net neutrality to journalists, how accurately media have covered the issue, and how net neutrality is related to the First Amendment or free speech.
On October 9th, Free State Foundation President Randolph May participated in a session with former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps at the 2014 Akamai Edge Conference in Miami, Florida, to discuss the hot topic of net neutrality and the FCC’s Open Internet proceeding. By all accounts, it was an informative and lively program. Akamai’s innovative products and services have played a significant positive role in fostering the steady growth of the Internet ecosystem across the globe – and the conference’s sessions offered many opportunities to glimpse the prospects for continued exciting advancements. In light of the FCC’s consideration of proposals to adopt new net neutrality regulations, the subject, obviously, is very timely. To watch the video of the net neutrality discussion, which is posted on Akamai’s website, please click here.
Free State Foundation President Randolph May is a panelist in the first session of the FCC's Open Internet Roundtable series scheduled for September 16, 2014. This first Roundtable session, titled "Tailoring Policy to Harms," will address "Policy Approaches to Ensure an Open Internet." Two fundamental questions will be discussed: what are the harms to Internet openness in the absence of open Internet regulations, and what are the right policies to address those harms? Mr. May's fellow panelists are Althea Erickson, Etsy; Julie Kearney, Consumer Electronics Association; Barbara van Schewick, Stanford University; Michael Weinberg, Public Knowledge; and David Young, Verizon, along with moderators Julie Veach, Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau, FCC, and Matthew DelNero, Deputy Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau, FCC. The roundtables are free and open to the public, and the FCC also will stream them live at http://www.fcc.gov/live. For additional information, click here.
Free State Foundation President Randolph May is a panelist during a three-day conference at the FCC, cosponsored by the American Enterprise Institute's Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy and the University of Nebraska College. The conference will highlight the latest academic thinking on broadband regulation and give regulators the opportunity to interact with leading scholars in the field. On September 11, Mr. May will discuss Elon University's Enrique Armijo's paper, "Government-Provided Internet Access Terms of Service as Speech Rules," along with Jason Llorenz of Rutgers University. Professor Armijo's paper will examine the implications of government-provided access to high-speed Internet for public safety, free expression, and digital development in urban spaces. For addition information, click here.
A video of the Free State Foundation's policy seminar titled, "Reforming Communications Policy in the Digital Age: The Path Forward," held on June 25, 2014, at the Capitol Visitors Center is available on YouTube here. Senator John Thune, the Ranking Member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, delivered the Opening Keynote Address, followed by FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who provided a view from the FCC. Panel participants John Bergmayer, Public Knowledge, Scott Cleland, Precursor LLC, and Adam Thierer, Mercatus Center at George Mason University, discussed their divergent views on the proper path forward for communications policy.
Randolph May, President of the Free State Foundation and a Public Member of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), is participating in the ACUS 60th Plenary Session on June 5-6, 2014, in Washington, DC. The Assembly will discuss and consider four recommendations: Resolving FOIA Disputes Through Targeted ADR Strategies, Government in the Sunshine Act, Guidance in the Rulemaking Process, and Ex Parte Communications in Informal Rulemaking. ACUS is an independent federal agency. Its mission is to promote improvements in the efficiency, adequacy, and fairness of the procedures by which federal agencies conduct regulatory programs, administer grants and benefits, and perform related governmental functions. The ACUS membership is composed of federal officials and experts with diverse views and backgrounds from both the private sector and academia.
The Free State Foundation will hold a policy seminar titled, "Reforming Communications Policy in the Digital Age: The Path Forward," on Wednesday June 25, 2014, at the Capitol Visitors Center, Washington, DC. Senator John Thune, the Ranking Member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, will deliver the Opening Keynote Address, followed by FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who will provide a view from the FCC. Two or three experts will follow up with their reactions to Sen. Thune's and Comm. Pai's remarks and continue the discussion concerning the path forward for communications policy reform. To register, click here. For additional information, click here.
Free State Foundation President Randolph J. May appeared on the PBS NewsHour on March 24, 2014, to discuss the Administration's plans to transfer control of the Internet to a yet-to-be-determined organization. He appeared with Vint Cerf, a former Chairman of the Board of ICANN and currently a Vice President and so-called chief Internet evangelist for Google. You can view the video at this link.
Thanks to C-SPAN for covering our entire conference on March 18. The C-SPAN videos may be accessed here. Some of the conference photos may be viewed here.
Free State Foundation President Randolph J. May discusses the consequences of the D.C. Circuit Court's Net Neutrality decision. You can access the video on FSF's YouTube channel here.
Two YouTube videos are available of the Free State Foundation’s "A New FCC or the Same Old, Same Old?" lunch seminar at the National Press Club, October 24, 2013. Congressman Bob Latta, Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, delivered keynote remarks offering his ideas for reforming communications policy in a less regulatory direction and for reorienting the FCC's mission. A panel of senior industry officials and leading academics followed the Congressman, discussing, with the arrival of a new FCC Chairman and Commissioner expected shortly, whether the FCC should reorient its mission and its way of doing business. How? Can it accomplish such changes itself or does Congress need to act?
Free State Foundation President Randolph May participated in this week's edition of C-SPAN's The Communicators program to discuss the September 9 oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the Verizon v. FCC case challenging the FCC's net neutrality regulations. Gigi Sohn, President of Public Knowledge, appeared on the program with Mr. May, and former FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, who voted against the net neutrality regulations, gave brief introductory remarks via telephone. The Communicators airs on C-SPAN on Saturday, September 14, at 6:30 p.m., and on C-SPAN 2 on Monday, September 16, at 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. You may access the entire program on C-SPAN's website here.
Randolph J. May, President of the Free State Foundation, testified at a hearing on “Improving FCC Process” before the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, Committee on Energy and Commerce, on July 11, 2013. He commended the Committee for undertaking the effort to reform the FCC's processes and its decision-making approaches. Mr. May supported the proposed reforms in the Discussion Drafts that, along with his additional proposals, would make the FCC less likely to default so often to regulatory measures, even absent clear and convincing evidence of market failure or consumer harm. Mr. May's complete testimony is here. A link to the video is here.
A YouTube video is available of the Free State Foundation's "If I Were the FCC Chairman" lunch seminar at the National Press Club, June 4, 2013. The speakers, who discussed what they would do if they were the new FCC Chairman, were Gail MacKinnon, Executive Vice President and Chief Government Relations Officer, Time Warner Cable; Craig Silliman, Senior Vice President for Public Policy & Government Affairs, Verizon Communications; and Gigi B. Sohn, President & CEO, Public Knowledge; and moderator Randolph J. May, President of The Free State Foundation.
The March 21, 2013, Free State Foundation Fifth Annual Winter Telecom Policy Conference opened with FSF President Randolph May's conversation with FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai. During the conversation, Commissioner Pai discussed his regulatory philosophy, reforming FCC processes, the FCC's IP Transition proceeding, broadband policy, net neutrality mandates, spectrum auctions, video regulation, and much more. You can view a video of their conversation here.
We were very pleased that Senator Marco Rubio delivered his first major address on communications policies and telecom priorities at the Free State Foundation's Fifth Annual Winter Telecom Policy Conference. Sen. Rubio is a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and its Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet. Here is a link to the written copy of Sen. Rubio’s speech, and you can view a video of his presentation here.
View the video of the Free State Foundation's January 23, 2013, luncheon to celebrate FSF’s new book, "Communications Law and Policy in the Digital Age: The Next Five Years," at the National Press Club. Several of the book's contributing authors, all prominent scholars and experts in the field of communications policy, discussed their chapters and led a lively, interactive exchange concerning today's hottest-topic issues. Speakers included: Christopher Yoo, Professor, University of Pennsylvania Law School and Member of FSF's Board of Academic Advisors - "Internet Policy Going Forward: Does One Size Still Fit All?"; Daniel Lyons, Professor, Boston College Law School, and Member of FSF's Board of Academic Advisors - "Reforming the Universal Service Fund for the Digital Age"; Ellen Goodman, Professor, Rutgers School of Law – Camden, and Member of FSF's Board of Academic Advisors - "Public Media Policy Reform and Digital Age Realities"; and Seth Cooper, FSF Research Fellow - "Restoring a Minimal Regulatory Environment for a Healthy Wireless Future."
To view photos of the Free State Foundation’s October 18, 2012, "Ideas for Communications Law and Policy Reform in 2013" seminar at the National Press Club, go to the Events page. The program opened with a conversation concerning FCC reform between FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell and FSF President Randolph May. This was followed by a panel discussion by some of the nation's leading communications law and policy experts: Robert Atkinson, President, Information Technology & Innovation Foundation; James Gattuso, Senior Research Fellow in Regulatory Policy, The Heritage Foundation; David Honig, President, Minority Media & Telecommunications Council; and Adam Thierer, Senior Research Fellow, Mercatus Center.
Job Openings for Policy Analysts: The Free State Foundation has positions open for senior and junior policy analysts with experience regarding regulated industries. Some expertise and prior experience regarding communications and Internet policy is a definite plus, and the ability to analyze market structure and competition in dynamic markets characterized by rapid technological advances is a definite plus as well. Excellent writing skills an absolute prerequisite. Click here to view a full job description.
View a slideshow of the Free State Foundation’s seminar, "The Multi-Stakeholder Private Internet Governance Model: Can It Survive Threats From The UN?" held at the National Press Club on May 30, 2012.
View C-SPAN’s video of the Free State Foundation’s seminar, "The Multi-Stakeholder Private Internet Governance Model: Can It Survive Threats From The UN?" The event was held May 30, 2012, at the National Press Club.
The Free State Foundation's Senior Fellows and Staff are acknowledged experts in their academic and professional fields, and their accomplishments have been widely recognized. They have held senior positions in academia, government, and business. Their expertise and experience on state and federal policy matters spans the disciplines of law, economics, business strategy, and organizational management.
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The Free State Foundation receives contributions to support its work from a wide variety of companies in the communications, information services, entertainment, and high-tech marketplaces, among others, as well as from foundations and many individuals. We welcome your donations too! Donate here!
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View the YouTube videos of the three keynote presentations and the panel discussion at FSF’s "Thinking the Unthinkable: Imposing the 'Utility Model' on Internet Providers" seminar at the National Press Club on November 14, 2014.
View the YouTube videos of FSF's "A New FCC or the Same Old, Same Old?" lunch seminar at the National Press Club on October 24, 2013.
View the YouTube video of FSF’s "If I Were the FCC Chairman" lunch seminar held at the National Press Club on June 4, 2013.
View a slideshow here of the Free State Foundation’s Fifth Annual Telecom Policy Conference, "Completing The Transition to a Digital World: How to Finish the Job and Why It Matters," held at the National Association of Home Builders on March 21, 2013.
Order FSF's new book, "Communications Law and Policy in the Digital Age: The Next Five Years," here!
View the YouTube video of FSF's January 23, 2013, event celebrating FSF’s new book, "Communications Law and Policy in the Digital Age: The Next Five Years," at the National Press Club.
View YouTube videos of FSF's October 18, 2012, "Ideas for Communications Law and Policy Reform for 2013" Seminar at the National Press Club.
For more information, contact: email@example.com Mailing Address: The Free State Foundation, P. O. Box 60680, Potomac, MD 20859 Office Location: 6259 Executive Blvd., Rockville, MD 20852 Phone: 301-984-8253