Tierney Blog

State Action vs. National Norms in Developing Tech Policy

A recent article in Forbes, How state attorneys general are driving tech policy, accurately notes an increased interest on the part of state attorneys general in tech policy. It argues that, while there are times when state action makes sense, the nature of the Internet requires that state action be preempted and national norms be imposed.

Attorneys general push back on this conclusion citing the inability of the federal government to meaningfully address tech policy issues. And state legislatures are likewise taking matters into their own hands, as California's passage of a net neutrality law last week shows. 

As this debate continues, the "AG Tech Forum" at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School is working to "bring insights from academic and other constituencies to ensure that all sides benefit from dialogue on neutral ground" on these issues.  

The challenges of formulating tech policy will only grow in the years ahead, and the role of attorneys general has yet to be fully developed, making this an issue to watch.