OUR BIGGEST FIGHT: Reclaiming Liberty, Humanity, and Dignity in the Digital Age, a New Book by Frank H. McCourt, Jr. to be Released March 2024

Jan 16 Press Release McCourt Global

Published by Crown Publishing Group, civic entrepreneur Frank McCourt joins forces with journalist Michael Casey to present a galvanizing call to action for a tech revolution that empowers people over platforms and accelerates a new internet era.

NEW YORK, Jan. 16, 2024 – Frank McCourt, Executive Chairman of McCourt Global and Founder of Project Liberty, along with co-writer Michael Casey, has authored the book “OUR BIGGEST FIGHT: Reclaiming Liberty, Humanity, and Dignity in the Digital Age,” which will be published by Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, on March 12, 2024.

“As both an entrepreneur and a parent, I’m deeply concerned with how Silicon Valley’s move fast and break things ethos has co-opted and corrupted the awesome power of the internet in ways that have put our society and future at risk,” said McCourt. “Through OUR BIGGEST FIGHT, I hope to convey the urgency of this moment and how autocratic surveillance technology is stripping us of our personhood and causing great harms to society. By drawing on lessons of the past and redesigning what this powerful technology optimizes for, we can reclaim our ability to chart a new course and build an internet that empowers people over platforms.”

Building upon McCourt’s ongoing work with Project Liberty – a far-reaching, $500-million initiative to create a better, healthier internet – the book addresses the urgent, growing threat today’s highly centralized internet infrastructure presents to democracy, youth mental health, and individual data rights. Described by Crown as “a resounding call to action for building a healthier and more equitable internet that frees users from Big Tech’s exploitation, recognizes individuals’ rights to their data, safeguards children and prioritizes the common good,” OUR BIGGEST FIGHT provides a gameplan for advancing innovative solutions.

The book can be preordered at prh.com/ourbiggestfight. More information is included in the following announcement from Crown Publishing Group.

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From Civic Entrepreneur and Founder of Project Liberty Frank H. McCourt, Jr. comes a galvanizing call to action for a tech revolution that empowers people over platforms and accelerates a new internet era

OUR BIGGEST FIGHT: Reclaiming Liberty, Humanity, and Dignity in the Digital Age

To be published March 12, 2024

On March 12, 2024, Crown, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, will publish OUR BIGGEST FIGHT: Reclaiming Liberty, Humanity, and Dignity in the Digital Age—a resounding call to action for building a healthier and more equitable internet that frees users from Big Tech’s exploitation, recognizes individuals’ rights to their data, safeguards children and prioritizes the common good—from Frank H. McCourt, Jr., and acclaimed journalist, Michael J. Casey.

The internet was once a utopian dream. And its impact has transformed how we live, learn, work and communicate. Despite its conveniences and connectivity, today’s internet is causing real harm and is the primary cause of a pervasive unease that has taken hold in the U.S. and other democratic societies. Instead of driving progress and collaboration, its dominant platforms are fueling a youth mental health crisis, polluting public discourse with misinformation and toxicity, eroding trust and undermining our most important institutions. Left unchecked, the internet in its current, highly centralized form—dominated by a handful of Big Tech giants that feed on our data—threatens to destabilize societies, democracies and human interaction at every level. And it will get exponentially more harmful in the age of artificial intelligence. McCourt and Casey explain how we can get off this destructive path and seize this most urgent of moments to build an internet that serves society’s needs.

For decades, thought leaders and policy experts have weighed in with suggestions for fixing the internet’s ills, mostly through top-down regulation. What sets McCourt and Casey apart is their relentless focus on the need to innovate our way forward and address the problem at its roots, starting with the web’s underlying infrastructure. Inspired by historical calls to action like Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, OUR BIGGEST FIGHT depicts a set of compelling parallels between the American revolution and the need for a similar action today to throw off the shackles of Big Tech. Now is the time, McCourt and Casey argue, to embed the core values of a free, democratic society in the internet of tomorrow.

McCourt is the executive chairman of McCourt Global, a private family company committed to building a better future and extending the McCourt family’s 130-year legacy of developing infrastructure and merging community and social impact with financial results through its work across the real estate, sports & media, technology and capital investment industries, as well as its significant philanthropic activities. Named one of the Top 50 Philanthropists in the U.S. by The Chronical of Philanthropy, McCourt is the foundational donor of Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. As a fifth-generation builder, he’s wary of Silicon Valley’s “move fast and break things” ethos and, as a father of seven, concerned about how technology is impacting children, families and communities – and putting our future at risk. Determined to carry out projects that leave a positive impact on society, McCourt is focused on Project Liberty, a bold and far-reaching effort to build an internet where individuals have more control over their data, a voice in how digital platforms operate, and more access to the economic benefits of innovation. Supported by a $500-million commitment from McCourt, Project Liberty encompasses the work of the Project Liberty Foundation—a 501(c)(3) with an international partner network that includes Georgetown University, Stanford University, Sciences Po, and other leading academic institutions and civic organizations—and Amplica Labs, a technology business launched by McCourt Global that is focused on developing the next generation of digital infrastructure.

Information is the lifeblood of any society, and our current system for accessing, engaging and sharing it is corrupted at its heart. Rather than a free-flowing exchange of ideas in a decentralized environment, today’s internet is a closed-loop system, dominated by large technology firms feeding on our individual data and using increasingly sophisticated algorithms to keep people addicted and perpetually doom scrolling. In plain but forceful language, the authors illustrate how this centralized system, controlled by a small group of for-profit entities, has set a catastrophe in motion and stripped us of our personhood. Trust is gone, hostility is on the rise and people—especially parents concerned about their kids’ use of social media—are desperate for solutions.

McCourt and Casey offer much-needed hope for a better future. Optimistically and convincingly, they lay out a groundbreaking solution to reclaim what Big Tech has co-opted and corrupted: a new, decentralized model for managing information over the internet that, by its very design, puts the rights of the individuals first. They reimagine the internet as a place where the individual can choose whether or not to share their data. A place where people can reclaim their identity, digital footprint, and personal sovereignty. A place where individual rights are sacrosanct – and where tech corporations must agree to our terms of use before accessing the data, content and connections we create online.

Much like Americans have amended the U.S. Constitution in order to enshrine new rights and obligations, so too must we amend the protocols by which the internet operates. By upgrading the internet’s current architecture, we can lay the foundation for a more equitable and inclusive web that prioritizes people over platforms and enables users to own and control their personal data.

McCourt and Casey make a powerful argument for acting now, before a Big Tech-driven AI transformation is complete, to build a new, open internet that works for humanity, rather than against it. Americans have an opportunity—perhaps the last one we’ll ever get—to lead the world out of a mess we helped create.

About the Authors

Frank H. McCourt, Jr. is the Executive Chairman of McCourt Global, a private family enterprise working across the real estate, sports, technology, media, and capital investment industries. He is the founder and Executive Chairman of Project Liberty, a far-reaching effort to build an internet where individuals have more control over their data, a voice in how digital platforms operate, and more access to the economic benefits of innovation. Supported by a $500-million commitment from McCourt, Project Liberty encompasses the work of the Project Liberty Foundation—a 501(c)(3) with an international partner network that includes Georgetown University, Stanford University, Sciences Po, and other leading academic institutions and civic organizations—and Amplica Labs, a technology business launched by McCourt Global that is focused on developing the next generation of digital infrastructure that empowers people and safeguards children.

Michael J. Casey is the Chief Content Officer at the award-winning media company CoinDesk, co-host of the “Money Reimagined” podcast, and the Chairman of the Consensus conference. He has worked as a journalist on five continents, including eighteen years with Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal, and was a founding staffer at MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative. Casey’s previous books include The Age of CryptocurrencyThe Social Organism, and The Truth Machine.

CONTACT:

Dyana Messina

212-572-2098

dmessina@penguinrandomhouse.com

Stacey Stein

212-782-9271

sstein@penguinrandomhouse.com

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ABOUT MCCOURT GLOBAL & PROJECT LIBERTY

McCourt Global (MG) is a private family company focused on building for tomorrow through its work across real estate, sports & media, technology, capital investment and social impact. Led by founder and Executive Chairman Frank McCourt, a civic entrepreneur and fifth-generation builder, and an international leadership team, MG extends the McCourt family’s 130-year legacy of developing infrastructure and merging community and social impact with financial results — an approach that began when the original McCourt company was launched in Boston in 1893.

In 2021, MG publicly launched Project Liberty, a far-reaching effort to build an internet where individuals have more control over their data, a voice in how digital platforms operate, and more access to the economic benefits of innovation. Project Liberty’s activities include the release and stewardship of the Decentralized Social Networking Protocol (DSNP), which is available as a public utility to serve as the bedrock of a more equitable and inclusive web, and its launch of the Safe Tech, Safe Kids campaign focused on youth mental health and social media. Project Liberty’s Institute (formerly The McCourt Institute) works to ensure that digital governance is prioritized in the development of the next generation of the internet. The institute’s founding academic partners include Georgetown University, Stanford University, and Sciences Po; and it is collaborating with MIT’s Center for Constructive Communication and Cortico, as well as Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society to support the creation of healthier social networks. In 2023, Frank McCourt unveiled Project Liberty’s “Better Web, Better World” manifesto at Web Summit in Lisbon. This vision for a new web is supported by the work of Amplica Labs, which is led by the tech team behind DSNP and focused on developing the next generation of digital infrastructure. Through a $500-million commitment that supports both nonprofit and commercial activities, Project Liberty aims to unleash a new era of innovation that empowers people over platforms and serves the common good.

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