Blackburn, McCaul Statement on OTF Firings, Organization's Future

June 19, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Congressman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Republican Leader on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement on the termination of Laura Cunningham, President of the Open Technology Fund (OTF), and the OTF Board of Directors. Senator Blackburn and Rep. McCaul were the Republican authors of the Open Technology Fund Authorization Act. 

“As the lead Republican sponsors of the Open Technology Fund Authorization Act, we are troubled by the recent termination of Laura Cunningham and the OTF Board of Directors and are concerned about the future of the organization. Since OTF was established as a separate entity last year, it has funded the development of open-source, security-tested tools to help those living under authoritarian regimes or those living in vulnerable situations, such as in Hong Kong, to access the internet and to communicate freely with one another without the fear of reprisal. We have been impressed with the efforts of President Laura Cunningham and her team, and we look forward to hearing from CEO Pack on how he plans to continue the vital mission of OTF during this time of transition.”