State Level Issues in Tech, Regulation, & Economic Development

State Level Issues in Technology, Regulation, and Economic Development

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Conference | April 22, 2022 | Lincoln, Nebraska

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About the Conference

Over the past decade the technology industry — especially the part of it thought of as "Big Tech" — has gone from being widely viewed with favor to being a target for both the political right and left. At both the federal and state level legislators and regulators are trying to pass laws and use litigation to constrain Big Tech. This shift has been prompted by a range of concerns.

As demonstrated by these widespread efforts, most of the concerns about Big Tech are "national-scale." Many of the concerns, such as the potential for monopolization or the firms' data use practices have traditionally been thought of as best handled at the federal level. Even where the impacts may be felt in individual states, there is little difference on the ground in Arizona, Florida, or Nebraska between the potential impacts of Apple controlling its app store or how Google sells targeted advertising.

This conference explores the role of the states in these issues. The discussion will consider the following questions:

  • What has driven the change in attitudes towards the technology sector over the past several years?
  • What do we know about consumer attitudes towards technology, including how those attitudes vary from state to state?
  • How are efforts to regulate Big Tech likely to affect consumers and industry at the state level?

This event is the first in a 2-year program that we are launching to work with policy-makers, enforcement officials, and academics to study these questions. As part of this program, funding is available to subsidize travel costs for public officials to participate in this event and to support academic researchers interested in answering these and other questions.

Invited Speakers

Heather Akin (University of Nebraska)

Derek Bambauer (University of Arizona)

Ted Bolema (Institute for Study Economic Growth at Wichita State University) 

Graham Dufault (The App Association)

Tabrez Ebrahim (Lewis & Clark Law School)

Tammi Etheridge (Elon University)

Jennifer Huddleston (NetChoice)

Valerie Jones (University of Nebraska)

Eric Peterson (Pelican Institute)

Will Rinehart (The Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State)

Scott Wallsten (Tech Policy Institute)

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Keynote Speaker

Attorney General Doug Peterson

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson will speak at the conference. Elected as Nebraska’s 32nd Attorney General in 2014, Doug Peterson has dedicated his career to being an advocate for Nebraskans both in state and federal court. Peterson was born in Columbus, Nebraska and grew up primarily in Lincoln. From 1988 to 1990, he served as Assistant Attorney General to the Nebraska Attorney General’s office, representing the State in employment law matters and tort litigation. In 1990, Peterson entered private practice, where he had the opportunity to advise and advocate for both individuals and businesses. In his role as Attorney General, Peterson works closely with law enforcement agencies across the State to ensure that Nebraska communities are safe. Peterson’s office has supported strengthened legislation and enforcement in the areas of human trafficking, prosecution of child sexual assault and abuse, and consumer protection laws to safeguard all Nebraskans.

Headshot of Shannon McGregor

Keynote Speaker

Professor Shannon McGregor

Shannon McGregor is an assistant professor at the Hussman School of Journalism and Media, and a senior researcher with the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life - both at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Her research addresses the role of social media and their data in political processes, with a focus on political communication, journalism, public opinion, and gender. Her published work examines how three groups – political actors, the press, and the public – use social media in regards to politics, how that social media use impacts their behavior, and how the policies and actions of social media companies in turn impacts political communication on their sites. She takes up diverse methodologies like surveys, experiments, and large-scale computational and network analysis, as well as qualitative methods like in-depth interviews, to understand political events in socially networked digital spaces. Her work aims to bring insights about and new theories of emerging political communication in hybrid media and political systems.

Her work has been published in the Journal of Communication, New Media & Society, Political Communication, Journalism, and Information, Communication & Society, and I co-edited a book (with Dr. Talia Stroud), Digital Discussions: How Big Data Informs Political Communication.


Location and Details

The conference will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott Lincoln Downtown, 808 R Street, Lincoln, NE 68508. A room block is available for out of town guests, for locked rate of $117 per night.

Conference guests may park in the garage associated with the hotel, directly across the street.


The conference is available in person and will also be available virtually. All registered guests will be provided online log-in information prior to the conference. 

Registration for this event has closed. For last minute registrations or questions after the event, please contact Adina Choat at

Download PDF Agenda

Getting to Lincoln

Attendees coming from out of state should arrange to fly into either the Lincoln Airport (LNK) or the Omaha Airport (OMA).

The Omaha Airport is larger and has more frequent flights, but is approximately one hour from downtown Lincoln. The Lincoln Airport offers convenient daily connections to Chicago, Denver and the Twin Cities via Delta and United airlines and is just five to ten minutes from the downtown hotel (hotel shuttles available for Lincoln Airport only).

Omaha Eppley Airfield Lincoln Airport 

Continuing Legal Education Credit

This conference has been approved for 4.83 hour of continuing legal education credit by the state of Nebraska.

Attorneys should plan to provide their Bar Number at sign in for credit.