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Internet Association To Present Internet Freedom Awards At Annual Gala

Washington, DC – Internet Association today announced that Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) will be honored with the 2018 Internet Freedom Award, Internet Association’s highest recognition for excellence in public service. The awards will be presented at the Internet Association 2018 Gala on April 25, 2018. The gala will also feature a fireside chat with Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. Proceeds from the event will benefit After-School All-Stars, a national after-school program dedicated to keeping kids safe and helping kids succeed in school and life.

“Senators Gardner and Cantwell champion policies that drive the growth of the internet economy, which contributes 6 percent of GDP to the national economy and represents 3 million jobs,” said Michael Beckerman, Internet Association President and CEO. “Both senators support a thriving internet ecosystem and are proponents of policies that foster innovation, opportunity, and jobs across the sector. On behalf of the world’s leading internet companies, Internet Association is honored to present Senators Gardner and Cantwell with the Internet Freedom Award.”

Senator Cory Gardner has been a leader on internet and technology policy issues since entering Congress in 2011. He is a cofounder of the Cybersecurity Caucus and has advocated for a connected and secure economy by introducing and supporting legislation that improves the cybersecurity of IoT devices, expands spectrum access, and protects the privacy of Americans as they browse the internet or use email. Sen. Gardner has a deep appreciation and understanding of the role online platforms play in today’s society and continues to champion policies that ensure Americans reap the benefits of the internet economy.

“It is an honor to be awarded the 2018 Internet Freedom Award by Internet Association,” said Gardner. “Whether it is working to free up additional spectrum and close the urban-rural divide, advocating for a free and open internet, promoting technology apprenticeships, or working on legislation to secure IoT devices, I believe we need to continue to foster an environment where innovation can thrive. The internet is a source of innovation and opportunity, a platform for speech and freedom. Our work in Congress must always reflect these values. These are bipartisan issues I will continue to support and champion for Coloradans and Americans across the country.”

Senator Maria Cantwell believes in the transformative power of technology. Whether in health care or education, agriculture or aviation, she has advocated for innovative solutions, especially those driven by the internet and connectivity, to our most challenging issues. As a tireless advocate of a free and open internet, Sen. Cantwell has led the charge to safeguard and strengthen net neutrality protections for consumers, innovators, and entrepreneurs. Sen. Cantwell is passionate about preparing future generations for 21st Century jobs and has worked to boost STEM education funding and investment in emerging technologies.

The award recipients will be honored at Internet Association’s Fifth Annual Charity Gala on April 25 in Washington, D.C. Tanna Abraham, Program and Grant Manager for After-School All-Stars’ Washington, D.C. Chapter, will accept the proceeds from the event on behalf of After-School All-Stars, which provides free after-school programs to more than 73,000 low-income and at-risk students in 19 U.S. markets. After-School All-Stars’ STEM programs equip students in under-resourced schools with the skills and opportunities they need to succeed in the 21st century economy. In addition to standards-aligned academic support, ASAS provides enrichment classes in areas such as coding, robotics, audio and video production, drone engineering, and creative circuitry.