April 23, 2024

ARDG Bans the Press

Several groups, including the EFF, Consumers Union, DigitalConsumer, and PublicKnowledge, have sent a letter objecting to the Analog Reconversion Discussion Group (ARDG), objecting to ARDG’s policy of refusing journalists access to its “open” meetings.

Despite its confusing name, ARDG is an important process, reflecting the efforts of some to promote, and perhaps eventually to mandate, the use of technical restrictions to close the “analog hole” (i.e., to make it impossible to capture and copy non-digital media). ARDG’s no-press policy is not just theoretical – Drew Clark of the National Journal’s Tech Daily was actually ejected from an ARDG meeting.

ARDG allows note-taking, discussions with the press afterwards, and even web-posting of accounts of their meetings. They claim their process is open. And yet they insist on the no-press policy.

The policy is particularly hard to understand in today’s media world. Am I a member of the press? I publish commentary and/or news content to the public on most days, with a readership of a few thousand. By traditional standards I am a member of the press. If I tried to attend an ARDG meeting, would they kick me out too?


  1. More on ARDG and the Press

    I wrote yesterday about the ARDG’s policy, banning the press from the otherwise open ARDG meetings. Apparently the official rationale for this is that some companies refuse to allow the people who represent them at ARDG meetings to speak to…