OTI works at the intersection of technology and policy to ensure that every community has equitable access to digital technology and its benefits. We promote universal access to communications technologies that are both open and secure, using a multidisciplinary approach that brings together advocates, researchers, organizers, and innovators.

The Transparency Reporting Toolkit

Open Technology Institute

The Transparency Reporting Toolkit is a project by New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) and Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Using research on the current state of transparency reporting, the project aims to identify best practices, create a template transparency report, and establish reporting guidelines. These resources will be shared publicly to foster standardization in reporting and provide companies new to reporting with an easy-to-use set of tools essential to crafting their transparency reports.

Upcoming Events


EVENT May 02, 2016 06:30 PM– 08:30 PM

Monday May 02, 2016

06:30 PM – 08:30 PM

[u'Civic Hall156 Fifth Avenue, Second Floor', u'New York, NY 10010']

Wi-Fi is the workhorse of the Internet. Currently Wi-Fi carries 60% to 80% of all broadband data traffic, but a new technology is threatening the effectiveness of Wi-Fi – and its ability to create connectivity for all.

More about the event
article | April 28, 2016 | Open Technology Institute

Internet and Innovation Leaders Urge White House to Open 5.9 GHz Spectrum

Today a broad coalition of 24 high-tech companies, consumer groups, and school and library associations delivered a joint letter to President Obama asking him to prioritize shared use of a valuable frequency band of spectrum that can enable both high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity and, if it proves viable, the vehicle-to-vehicle safety signaling technology proposed by the Department of Transportation (DOT).

press release | April 27, 2016 | Open Technology Institute

OTI Applauds Historic Vote in House Approving Email Privacy Act and Looks to the Senate

Today, after many years of advocacy, the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 699, the Email Privacy Act. This amends the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 to require law enforcement to get a search warrant based on probable cause before demanding the content of data stored online with third parties such as email providers, social networks and cloud storage services. This change would bring the law into line with the requirements of the Fourth Amendment and the modern privacy expectations of people who increasingly store private communications, documents and pictures in the Internet ‘cloud’. New America’s Open Technology Institute supports the Email Privacy Act, celebrates its passage in the House, and calls on the Senate to follow suit to make this privacy-protecting bill into law.

article | April 26, 2016 | Open Technology Institute

How  the FBI's Approach to Hacking Affects the Future of Vulnerabilities Research

On April 12, the Washington Post reported that the FBI paid researchers a one-time fee to use secretly developed hardware to help them access information on one of the San Bernardino, California assailants’ iPhone. I’m calling them “researchers” not “hackers” to make it clear that individuals who provide this information, or these services, aren’t the stereotypical criminals in hoodies, sitting in a basement. Finding and selling vulnerabilities is actually a lucrative business opportunity for both individuals and for specialized companies. From multiple lawsuits and leaked documents, it’s clear that U.S. law enforcement (and intelligence) agencies buy hacking tools all the time. The difference here is that the government publicly acknowledged that they needed access to these skills, and that they could only get them from the private sector.

article | April 26, 2016 | Open Technology Institute

FCC Comments on SEt-Top Boxes

For two decades, consumers have awaited the emergence of a competitive market for navigation devices. During that time, they have paid billions of dollars in fees to their pay-TV providers to lease set-top boxes that contained antiquated technologies. With the advent of the Internet ensuring that video programming takes an even more prominent position in Americans' lives, infusing competition in the navigation device market has taken on increased importance.

press release | April 25, 2016 | Open Technology Institute

DOJ, FCC Propose Conditional Approval of Charter Merger

Today, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a settlement to approve Charter’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, a transaction that would create the nation’s second-largest broadband provider. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is also reviewing the deal, announced today that it is considering an order that would approve the transaction with “specific conditions,” the details of which have not been released publicly. Last year, OTI urged both agencies to closely scrutinize the deal and to reject the conditions that Charter had proposed.

in the news | April 19, 2016 | Open Technology Institute

Police Officials: Google and Apple Should Censor Encryption Apps in Their Stores

Jake Laperruque Ross Schulman

Privacy and tech experts were quick to react to the two law enforcement official’s suggestion.“This isn't just turning Apple into censorship police, it's wrecking Android's entire open model,” Jake Laperruque, a fellow at the Open Technology Institute at the New America Foundation, said on Twitter.For Ross Schulman, the senior policy counsel at the Open Technology Institute who previously at Google, “the argument that the app stores should regulate access to encryption is off the charts crazypants.”

press release | April 15, 2016 | Open Technology Institute

President Obama Announces Support For Set-Top Box Reform

FCC Effort to ‘Unlock the Box’ Would Unleash Competition, Innovation

Today, President Obama announced his support for the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) effort to promote competition in the market for set-top navigation devices. The president is also expected to take the unusual step of personally filing comments in the FCC’s proceeding. New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) has long supported set-top box reform and called on the FCC last year to create a technical standard that would foster third-party device competition.

press release | April 15, 2016 | Open Technology Institute

House Passes Anti-Net Neutrality Bill

This morning, the House of Representatives passed a bill (H.R. 2666) that would make it practically impossible for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to enforce the 2015 Open Internet Order. Earlier this week, OTI joined 49 other organizations urging Congress to reject the bill, which the White House has threatened to veto.

in the news | April 14, 2016 | Open Technology Institute

The Next Encryption Battleground: Congress

Advocates for digital security warn that the Senate's proposed legislation could cause immense harm."It is hard to overstate how disastrous for the security of all of our data as well as the economic security of our tech sector this bill would be," said Kevin Bankston, director of the Open Technology Institute at New America, a Washington think tank.Members of Congress simply don't understand the implications of forcing companies to provide digital back doors to technology that's supposed to be secure, Bankston says.

press release | April 13, 2016 | Open Technology Institute

Digital Victory! Email Privacy Act Moves Forward with Historic Committee Vote

Today the House Judiciary Committee unanimously approved H.R. 699, The Email Privacy Act, and sent it to the House floor for consideration. The bill would bring the 1986 Electronic Communication Privacy Act (ECPA) into the 21st century by requiring the government to obtain a search warrant based on probable cause before seizing any content stored online with third parties, such as emails stored with an email provider or documents in cloud storage. This would bring ECPA in line with the requirements of the Fourth Amendment and with Americans’ modern expectations of privacy, who now store online the files and communications they used to store only in their homes and offices.

article | April 13, 2016 | Open Technology Institute

Federal Source Code Policy engages Open Source Community

Last month, the White House proposed a Federal Source Code Policy, and invited public comment via Github and traditional channels. Although this isn’t the first policy that they’ve opened for comment on Github, this is the first time they’ve engaged the open source community about open source policy in a open source way. This policy aims to improve “the way Federal agencies buy, build, and deliver information technology (IT) and software solutions” by using Open Source Software to “better support cost efficiency, mission effectiveness, and the consumer experience with core Government programs.” On Monday New America’s Open Technology Institute submitted our comments in response.

article | April 12, 2016 | Open Technology Institute

Equal Access to Congressional Service Reports Act of 2016

Open Technology Institute

Every day, Members of Congress and their staffs are forced to consider and make decisions on dozens of critical issues. In order to do that, they need access to unbiased and complete information about these issues. That’s why the Congressional Research Service (CRS), housed within the Library of Congress, is a critical support agency for Congress. However, the reports generated by CRS are not publicly available to taxpayers that fund them. We recently signed onto letters to the House and Senate, led by the Congressional Data Coalition, requesting these reports be made available online as a publicly available resource.

press release | April 12, 2016 | Open Technology Institute

Coalition Urges Congress to Reject Anti-Net Neutrality Bill

Today, New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) joined 49 consumer advocates and technology organizations in a letter urging Congress to reject a harmful bill that the House of Representatives plans to vote on later this week. The legislation, H.R. 2666, would make it practically impossible for the Federal Communications Commission to enforce the 2015 Open Internet Order.

in the news | April 11, 2016 | Open Technology Institute
Building a digital Lifeline for America's families

Building a digital Lifeline for America's families

Late last month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to modernize the Lifeline program in the most wide-ranging national effort ever enacted to remove cost barriers to broadband. By doing so, the FCC formally recognized that in the digital age, broadband access is a fundamental tool, rather than a luxury.++++While significant, the FCC decision is only one step toward achieving robust broadband adoption for millions of low-income American families. Having consistent, quality access to broadband is critical to resolving the "homework gap" between low-income kids and their more privileged peers. Quality connectivity is no less important for their parents, for whom opportunities for employment and skills training are increasingly migrating online.

in the news | April 08, 2016 | Open Technology Institute

Congress's New Encryption Bill Just Leaked, And It's As Bad As Experts Imagined

Experts have repeatedly warned that forcing companies to help circumvent their own encryption would catastrophically weaken the security of average users, endanger US national security and economic competitiveness, and ultimately wouldn't thwart terrorists and other criminals, who would simply switch to foreign apps and devices that the law doesn't cover.

in the news | April 08, 2016 | Open Technology Institute

Critics Slam Draft Senate Encryption Bill as 'Dangerous,' 'Misguided'

Kevin Bankston, director of the Open Technology Institute at the New America Foundation, opposed the proposed bill in a strongly worded statement."Not only does this bill undermine our security, it is also a massive Internet censorship bill, demanding that online platforms like Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store police their platforms to stop the distribution of secure apps," Bankston said. "I can say without exaggeration that this draft bill is the most ludicrous, dangerous, technically illiterate tech policy proposal of the 21st century so far."

press release | April 08, 2016 | Open Technology Institute

Anti-Encryption Bill from Senators Burr and Feinstein Would Be Disastrous for Cybersecurity, Tech Economy

Last night, a discussion draft of the long-awaited anti-encryption bill from Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Senator Burr, and Ranking Member Senator Feinstein was leaked online. The bill requires that any provider of electronic communications, storage, or processing service, or any software or hardware manufacturer, be able to decrypt any encrypted data of its users when the government demands that data with a court order.