The Federal Communications Commission’s recent decision to end net neutrality regulations has fueled a national debate about the future of the internet. On Tuesday, April 17 – the week before the FCC’s decision takes effect – the “fantastic” (New Yorker) debate series Intelligence Squared U.S. will present both sides of this divisive issue in a live debate on the motion “Preserve Net Neutrality: All Data is Created Equal.”

Held in partnership with the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law for their Newton and Jo Minnow Debate Series, this marks Intelligence Squared U.S.’s return to Chicago after recent debates in New York, Brussels, Washington DC, San Francisco, and beyond.

Former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, who led the initial efforts to adopt net neutrality, will partner with Mozilla chairwoman and longtime open-web advocate Mitchell Baker to argue in favor of the motion. They will be opposed by former FCC chief economist Michael Katz and editor-in-chief Nick Gillespie, who will argue against preserving net neutrality.

Internet Pioneers and Former FCC Leaders Debate Net Neutrality with Intelligence Squared U.S. and Northwestern Law, Live from Chicago on April 17
Internet Pioneers and Former FCC Leaders Debate Net Neutrality with Intelligence Squared U.S. and Northwestern Law, Live from Chicago on April 17

The debate will be held at Chicago’s Thorne Auditorium and stream live online, then air soon after as part of the syndicated public radio show and podcast “Intelligence Squared U.S.” On April 17, online viewers can tune in at IQ2US’s website:

WHAT: Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates “Preserve Net Neutrality: All Data is Created Equal”
WHEN: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 / Reception 5:00-6:15 / Debate 6:30-8:00 PM
WHERE: Thorne Auditorium / 375 E Chicago Ave / Chicago, IL 60611

Debating For the Motion

Mitchell Baker: Chairwoman, Mozilla Foundation & Mozilla Corporation

Mitchell Baker is chairwoman of the Mozilla Corporation and Foundation. She is a strong advocate for the open web and open source applications and is highly regarded as one of the pioneers responsible for designing the web into what it is today. Baker was instrumental in Netscape’s 1998 decision to release its source code to the public. This led to the release of the Firefox browser and the creation of the Mozilla Project as one of the most influential technology organizations in the world. TIME magazine has included Baker in its global list of the 100 most influential people and Bloomberg listed her as one of the 25 most influential people on the web.

Tom Wheeler: Harvard Law Professor & Former Chairman, FCC

Tom Wheeler is a businessman, author, and former chairman of the Federal Communication Commission. He led the FCC efforts that resulted in the adoption of net neutrality, privacy protections for consumers, and increased cybersecurity, among other policies. His chairmanship has been described as, “the most productive Commission in the history of the agency.” From 1979 to 1984, he was president and CEO of the National Cable Television Association. He is currently a professor at Harvard Law School and a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Debating Against the Motion

Nick Gillespie: Editor in Chief of and

Nick Gillespie is editor in chief of and ReasonTV, the online platforms of Reason, the libertarian magazine of “Free Minds and Free Markets.” Gillespie’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, Slate, Salon,, Marketplace, and numerous other publications. As one of America’s foremost libertarians, Gillespie is also a frequent commentator on radio and television.

Michael Katz: Professor, Berkeley & Former Chief Economist, FCC

Michael Katz is a professor at Berkeley College and a member of the Economic Analysis and Policy Group at the Haas School of Business. He was previously the chief economist for the Federal Communications Commission, where he received the Chairman’s Special Achievement Award. He has also served as deputy assistant attorney general for economic analysis in the antitrust division of the Department of Justice. He is a two-time recipient of the Earl F. Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching and was an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow.

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