Welcome to the First Annual Tech 404 Awards, a celebration of the worst of the worst tech policy ideas that 2023 has to offer. In a special nod to the Error Code 404 landing page – which tells users their link is broken or page doesn’t exist – our Tech 404 Awards recognize legislation that threatens to break the Internet and harm digital consumers.
Every year, some lawmakers introduce and debate thoughtful, well-intentioned legislation with the goal of making the Internet a better place. Others sit down with pen and paper and scratch out the first tech policy idea that makes for a good sound bite. It’s anyone’s guess as to which bill will pass.
In considering award recipients for this year’s Tech 404 Awards, Chamber of Progress reviewed more than a hundred federal, state, and local tech policy proposals. During a year that’s seen wave after wave of state legislation that would age-gate minors online, ban helpful biometric tools, and prohibit content moderation, the selection process challenged our organization to sort through a veritable mountain of bad ideas for the worst, most ill-conceived, most-harmful legislation.