Erik Telford is Senior Vice President of the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity. He has previously served as Director of Membership & Online Strategy at Americans for Prosperity, where he founded RightOnline. He serves on the board of Empower Action Group. Follow him on Twitter: @BlameTelford. Views expressed here are his own.


    A Step Forward for Privacy, Technology, and Law Enforcement

    Americans were rightfully shocked last June when news broke in The Guardian that the National Security Agency was collecting vast swaths of private information from U.S. citizens, ranging from phone call metadata to personal emails. The situation became much more dire when it was revealed that the U.S. Department of Justice was wiretapping journalists and seizing their emails. Under the weight of public pressure and Congressional Oversight hearings, President Obama pledged to dial back his Administration’s surveillance policies, but the damage was already done – and any facade of trust between government, the media, and the American public was shattered.

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    The FCC’s Ill-Fated Quest to Make the Internet a Public Utility

    If you logged into your Netflix account last night to binge watch one of your favorite shows, you’ll probably noticed the “wheel of death” icon spinning. That’s because Netflix, along with a number of other popular websites like Etsy, Kickstarter and Foursquare, are trying to make a statement about an impending decision from the Federal Communications Commission to impose net neutrality on broadband provides. Companies | Read More »

    When the MSM goes MIA

    Democrats stunned voters and pundits alike last month when they selected little-known state representative Amanda Curtis to run for U.S. Senate in Montana. As a single-term lawmaker entering the race less than three months out from Election Day, Curtis stands little chance of winning the seat–especially with her well-documented links to communism. Even more shocking is the embrace she has received from national Democrats, and | Read More »

    11 Things Fringe Environmentalists Want to Ban

    Michael Bloomberg made himself known as “America’s Nanny” by trying to ban everything from trans fats to large sodas in New York, but the real paternalistic police in America are the radical greens, who want to take away any product from your life that has even the smallest chance of affecting the environment, no matter how helpful or harmless that product may be. The list | Read More »

    Google Is A Poor Ambassador For The “Open Internet”

    Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman and chief political hobnobber, recently led a  delegation to Cuba to promote “open” Internet access in the repressive communist state. With only about 20 percent of Cubans able to access the Internet, Havana could use the encouragement, but Google is a less-than-ideal ambassador for Internet freedom. Schmidt may talk a good game abroad, but at home, he’s been a willing | Read More »

    Google Sets Dangerous Precedent for Data Collection

    Amid our concerns about big-government spying on private citizens through agencies like the NSA, the other side of the coin – big-data technology companies – have often proceeded uncontested and free from scrutiny. A Google streetcar sighting, for example, is usually accompanied by a collective geek-out and a visit to Google Street View to see if we made into the world’s favorite map, but it | Read More »

    #NotAJoke: Nanny State Wants To Send Fat People Text Messages

    #NotAJoke: Nanny State Wants To Send Fat People Text Messages

    *Promoted from the diaries. – Aaron* The Obama administration plans to send text messages to fat people and offer online weigh-ins to help the country’s obese population get down to what a cartel of career academics considers to be a healthy weight. April Fool! No, wait. This is real. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee–the folks responsible for bringing you the food pyramid–is in the midst | Read More »

    Detroit: The Next American City of Opportunity

    The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research has been shaping the debate on what to do with post-industrial cities for the past 30 years by developing and disseminating new ideas that create economic choices and foster personal responsibility. The research of the Manhattan Institute has helped lead to the rebirth and prosperity of many cities in the United States, most notably New York City in the | Read More »

    Uncle Sam Will Make A Nice Vegan Out Of You

    Remember the food pyramid? If you (or your children) were in school during the 1990s or 2000s, you probably recall the brightly colored triangle telling us to load up on empty carbs and eat meat, fish, and other sources of protein sparingly. Long after most nutritionists began to advocate for the high-protein, lower-carb diet that we now know is the healthiest way to eat, the | Read More »

    Ed Markey Gets Cozy With Google Lobbyists

    Earlier this week, I wrote a piece for the Boston Herald on Sen. Ed Markey’s (D-MA) misguided campaign to restore the Open Internet Order that was struck down by a federal court in January. Markey has been pushing net neutrality in Congress for years, and although he’s seen little success, he appears to have made some very powerful allies. When Markey ran for the Senate | Read More »