Broadcasting Board of Governors

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Group.png Broadcasting Board of Governors   Sourcewatch
Broadcasting Board of Governors logo.jpg
Predecessor • United States Information Agency
• Office of Affiliate Relations and Media Training
Formation October 1, 1999
Type propaganda
Headquarters Washington DC
Subgroups • Alhurra
• Voice of America
• The Middle East Broadcasting Networks Inc.
• Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
• Radio Free Asia
• Radio Marti
• TV Marti
• Radio Sawa
Staff 3,592
Website http://www.bbg.gov/
Membership • Jeffrey Shell
• Matthew Armstrong
• Leon Aron
• Ryan Crocker
• Michael Kempner
• Karen Kornbluh
• John Kerry
• Kenneth R. Weinstein
Notable for continued funding of Tor.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) is a US government body which, amongst other activities, continues to fund Tor.

Official Narrative

It self described goal is to "deliver accurate news and information to significant and strategic audiences overseas... and to serve as a trustworthy source of news and as an example of a free, professional press in countries that lack independent media."[1] The BBG was a department within the United States Information Agency until becoming "an independent, autonomous entity on October 1, 1999 as a result of the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998".

Structure

The website announces announces that it has a board which serves as a "firewall" against political interference in the journalistic product.[2] Yasha Levine reports that the BBG "reports directly to Secretary of State John Kerry".[3]

The first CEO of the BBG was former head of various big media groups, Andy Lack, appointed in January 2015, announced his resignation in March 2015.[4]

Funding

The BBG solicits annual funding from US Congress via a proposed budget summary, which can be found on the BBG website. The Board submits an annual budget submission in which they lay out specific initiatives. Initiatives in 2011 included improving the global satellite distribution capacity, creating Radio Free Asia video programming and improving distribution of Voice of America content.[5]

Announced in April 2011, the BBG will receive $10 million from Congress for the purpose of fighting Internet/Censorship. During the federal funding dispute for the fiscal year 2011, Barack Obama sided with the BBG agreeing to language that the organization would "expand unrestricted access to information on the Internet." This work includes anti-censorships campaigns in China and other "repressive regimes".[6]

Activities

Their 2014 operating budget of US$733 million included an "Internet freedom" budget of $25 million, with half of that money flowing through Radio Free Asia's Open Technology Fund (which Yasha Levine notes funded Tor in 2014 in excess of $1 million[7]). This $12.75 million represented a three-fold increase in OTF’s budget from 2013.[3][8] Their budget request for FY 2015 is US$721 million, and can be found here.


References