About Technology & Democracy Project

The Technology & Democracy Project provides expert analysis and commentary on technology and public policy issues, and seeks to influence decision-makers and opinion leaders by generating public support for our ideas and by serving as a resource for media and legislators at the local, state and national levels.

The work of the Technology & Democracy Project complements the overall mission of Discovery Institute.  Our efforts to “advance a culture of purpose, creativity and innovation” are greatly enhanced by our work related to the technology sector, which has led (and continues to lead) much of the creativity and innovation witnessed throughout the economy over the past two decades.  Promoting sensible policies that encourage economic growth and innovation is crucial to the long term health of the United States.

Our Mission

The mission of Discovery Institute’s Technology & Democracy Project is to advocate free market-oriented public policies for promoting investment and innovation in the information economy.

What We Do

Our research and advocacy—including written reports, newspaper articles, radio and television interviews and op-eds, combined with speeches, conferences, lectures and public testimony—help promote governmental attitudes that are pro-technology and pro-free enterprise.

We have been a leader in advocating against “network neutrality” regulation for many years. This issue is currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which is considering whether, in an age of media abundance, the First Amendment protects broadband service providers, and whether net neutrality amounts to a taking without just compensation according to the Fifth Amendment.

We have also been a leader in charting a course for regulatory reform as single-purpose communications networks become multiple purpose broadband platforms capable of delivering voice, video and data services.

Our Team

Hance Haney

Program Director and Senior Fellow, spent 10 years as an aide to former U.S. Senator Bob Packwood (Ore.), and advised him in his capacity as chairman of the Senate Communications Subcommittee during the deliberations leading to the Telecommunications Act of 1996. He subsequently held various positions with the United States Telecom Association and Qwest Communications.  He is recognized as one of the leading telecommunications experts in the country.

George Gilder

george-gilderSenior Fellow and co-founder of Discovery Institute, chairs the program.  He also serves as the head of Gilder Publishing Company in Great Barrington, Mass.  George is a renowned author, known for his best-seller, Wealth and Poverty, published in 1981. He has since published several books on technology issues.

John Wohlstetter

John WohlstetterSenior Fellow, served as the former Director of Technology Affairs with GTE Corp., subsequently Verizon Communications.  His primary responsibility at GTE was the strategic assessment of technology, government regulation and market trends.  He spent 13 years at Contel Corporation where he practiced corporate and communication law.  During this time, he also served as a Senior Advisor to the Committee on Review of Synchronization, Switching and Network Control in National Security Telecommunications, with the National Research Council (the operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences).

Frank Dillow

Frank DillowSenior Program Advisor, is a broadly experienced telecommunications executive.  He worked for various Oregon newspapers and the Oregon Public Utility Commission prior to joining GTE Corp. as part of their corpoate headquarters staff.  For 10 years he was external affairs director for GTE-Northwest, before being named Vice President for Federal Government Relations for GTE (and later Verizon Communications) in their Washington, D.C. office.  He is recently retired and resides in Arlington, Va.

About Us

The Project is a program of Discovery Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit and non-partisan educational and research organization based in Seattle, and with a presence in Washington, D.C. We are supported entirely by the generosity of private foundations as well as individual and corporate donors committed to technological innovation and economic growth.