Washington, DC

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2020):

Revenue: $1,262,215
Expenses: $882,698
Assets: $766,215


Tech Policy Think Tank




Berin Szoka

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TechFreedom is a libertarian-leaning tech policy think tank based in Washington, D.C. It supports technological innovation and the freedom to use the internet (both “socially” in terms of the content people post and “fiscally” in terms of the ability to monetize that content) without heavy government regulation through education and advocacy. It is supported by major technology companies including Google and Facebook.


TechFreedom was started in 2011 by Berin Szoka as a public policy think tank focused on the issues associated with technological change. 1 The organization promotes technology and the freedom to experiment, innovate, and invest without heavy regulatory intervention. 2

TechFreedom maintains a website and other social media sites to educate people on current issues that impact the use of the internet and similar technologies. The organization publishes a weekly newsletter that describes tech policies that are of concern and the actions that TechFreedom takes to address these. 3 These actions include providing testimony at hearings, writing letters, filing briefs, and meeting with government officials and organizations. 4 TechFreedom sponsors or participates in events that support public policies that enable technological change. 5


In July 2022 TechFreedom hosted the 2022 Policy Summit with speakers from think tanks including Brookings Institution and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the journalism watchdog NewsGuard, and several universities. 6

TechFreedom is active in addressing state and federal policies associated with the internet and with technological innovation.

Section 230

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act was enacted in 1996 to protect online service providers from liability associated with content posted by those using their site or service. 7 Since 2019 there has been a push to repeal or reform Section 230 to include exceptions for certain types of content. 8 TechFreedom and its president Berin Szoka support Section 230 as it stands, indicating that any modification would be unconstitutional. In 2019 Szoka claimed that “Republicans were once his natural allies on a wide range of issues” but are now pushing for Section 230 reforms with which he does not agree. 9 In January 2023, TechFreedom filed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in support of Section 230. 10

In March 2023, TechFreedom joined a group of 38 organizations in a coalition letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee defending Section 230 which protects online service providers from liability associated with content posted by those using their site or service. 11 Organizations identified in the coalition letter include Access Now, American Civil Liberties Union, Chamber of Progress, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, Freedom House, New America, Progressive Policy Institute, and Wikimedia Foundation. 12

Internet Age Verification

In February 2023, TechFreedom submitted a coalition letter to Utah Governor Spencer Cox (R) expressing concern over two bills aimed at regulating social media platforms to protect minors, indicating these were a threat to First Amendment rights. 13

In January 2023, the organization filed comments with the Federal Trade Commission asking for dismissal of a petition that would effectively require providers of digital media and games to implement age verification. 14


In March 2020, TechFreedom founder and president Berin Szoka temporarily stepped down as president to write a book on tech policy. This was announced days after he posted a tweet indicating that it would be “poetic justice” if then-President Donald Trump died from COVID-19. Szoka, a frequent critic of President Trump, later issued an apology and deleted the tweet. 15


TechFreedom’s 2020 tax returns show revenues of $1,262,215 and expenses of $882.698. 16

Its 2019 donors include libertarian-leaning Charles Koch Institute and the National Association of Broadcasters. 17

Stand Together Trust, a philanthropic organization founded by Charles Koch, lists TechFreedom as a “social entrepreneur” organization that the trust actively supports and partners with to address digital free speech, innovation, and removing barriers to new technologies. 18

TechFreedom is on the list of organizations that receive “the most substantial contributions from the Google U.S. Government Affairs and Public Policy team.” 19

According to OpenSecrets, TechFreedom has deep ties to Google and Facebook and their efforts to fight regulatory legislation, especially proposed antitrust actions against major technology companies. 20


Berin Szoka is president and founder of TechFreedom. Szoka began his career in law and moved into specializing in the telecommunications, satellite, and internet industries. Previously Berin was a contributor to Technology Liberation Front, 21 a technology blog that supported de-regulation of the internet, 22 and senior fellow and director of the Center for Internet Freedom at the Progress and Freedom Foundation. 23 He launched TechFreedom in 2011. 24

Shane Tews is chairman of the board. She is president of strategic advisory firm Logan Circle Strategies and a senior fellow of public policy think tank American Enterprise Institute. She specializes in cybersecurity, internet governance, and emerging technologies. Tews is also board vice chair of the Internet Education Foundation; chair of the Internet Society’s Washington, D.C., chapter; and chair of the Dynamic Coalition on the Internet of Things of the Internet Governance Forum. 25


  1. LinkedIn – TechFreedom. Accessed March 14, 2023.
  2. LinkedIn – TechFreedom. Accessed March 14, 2023.
  3. Facebook – TechFreedom. Accessed March 15, 2023.
  4. TechFreedom website. Accessed March 15, 2023.
  5. “Events.” TechFreedom. Accessed March 15, 2023.
  6. “A Summit on Truth, Expertise, Neutrality, Social Media & Common Carriage.” TechFreedom – Events. Accessed March 14, 2023.
  7.  Gabrielle Fonrouge. “What is Section 230 and why was it created?” New York Post. October 28, 2020. Accessed March 15, 2023.
  8. “Section 230: An Overview.” Congressional Research Service. April 7, 2021. Accessed March 15, 2023.
  9. Sarah Jeong. “Politicians Want to Change the Internet’s Most Important Law. They Should Read It First.” New York Times. July 26, 2019.
  10. “Brief Of TechFreedom as Amicus Curiae in Support of Respondent.” January 18, 2023. Accessed March 15, 2023.
  11. TechFreedom Weekly. March 9, 2023. Accessed March 15, 2023.
  12. Coalition Letter. March 8, 2023. Accessed March 15, 2023.
  13. “Utah Age Verification Mandate Violates First Amendment.” TechFreedom – Our Work. February 16, 2023. Accessed March 14, 2023.
  14. “Child Engagement Petition Will Force Age Verification & Ban Much of the Internet before It Fails in Court.” TechFreedom – Our Work. January 19, 2023. Accessed March 14, 2023.
  15. Cristiano Lima. “Tech think tank chief to step down after Trump death tweet.” Politico. March 13, 2020. Accessed March 15, 2023.
  16. TechFreedom Tax Filings by Year – Extracted Financial Data for 2020. ProPublica Nonprofit Explorer. Accessed March 14, 2023.
  17. ProPublica Nonprofit Explorer – TechFreedom. Accessed March 14, 2023.
  18. “Technology & Innovation.” Stand Together Trust – Issues. Accessed March 16, 2023.
  19. Shoshana Wodinsky. “Here’s Who Funds the Tech Think Tanks Asking Congress to Reconsider This Whole Antitrust Thing.” Gizmodo. June 21, 2021. Accessed March 15, 2023.
  20. Anna Massoglia and Julia Forrest. “Dark money groups battle bipartisan efforts to limit big-tech.” OpenSecrets – News. June 22, 2021. Accessed March 16, 2023.
  21. LinkedIn – Berin Szoka. Accessed March 14, 2023.
  22. “About Us.” Technology Liberation Front. Accessed March 14, 2023.
  23. Berin Szoka.” Lawfare – Contributors. Accessed March 15, 2023.
  24. LinkedIn – Berin Szoka. Accessed March 14, 2023.
  25. “Shane Tews Bio & Experience.” AEI – Scholars. Accessed March 14, 2023.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: January 1, 2014

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2020 Dec Form 990 $1,262,215 $882,698 $766,215 $136,728 N $1,261,725 $0 $0 $315,538
    2019 Dec Form 990 $988,378 $833,772 $275,640 $25,670 N $988,378 $0 $0 $215,279 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $739,051 $741,285 $122,986 $27,622 N $739,051 $0 $0 $156,000 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $1,101,294 $1,101,886 $106,021 $8,423 N $1,101,294 $0 $0 $284,532 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $619,605 $661,407 $99,933 $1,743 N $614,559 $0 $0 $159,980
    2015 Dec Form 990 $469,532 $542,881 $141,744 $1,743 N $463,059 $0 $0 $157,724 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $563,536 $594,851 $215,093 $1,743 N $563,536 $0 $0 $153,832 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $530,903 $545,275 $245,672 $1,007 N $530,903 $0 $0 $216,392 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)


    Washington, DC 20002-5620