Business

Internet Titans Form New Association to Combat Regulations

The Internet Association, launched Wednesday, aims to give major tech companies a voice in Washington.

Google, Facebook, Amazon, and other tech powers are ready to lobby.

The Internet Association, led by Michael Beckerman, formerly a prominent staffer on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, will use the industry’s collective power to ensure its voice is being heard legislatively.

The new group, which includes online powerhouses such as IAC, SalesForce.com, Zynga, Rackspace, and LinkedIn, aims to encourage the freedom that’s long fostered growth online. The new association kicked off Wednesday.

“It is the internet’s decentralized and open model that has unleashed unprecedented entrepreneurialism,” Beckerman told Reuters. “Policymakers must understand that the preservation of that freedom is essential to the vitality of the internet itself and the resulting economic prosperity.”

Among the policy platforms the group plans to take:

Protecting internet freedom: In the wake of bills such as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), the new association plans to fight for online freedom of speech, as well as the right of companies to offer their services without any undue liabilities or limits on consumers. “To preserve the internet’s role as a conduit for free expression,” the group writes, “internet intermediaries must not be held liable for the speech and activity of internet users.”

Innovation and economic growth: The group says it will fight for continued innovative power in the industry, “without those choices being unduly constrained by regulatory structures.”

Empowering users: The Internet Association will encourage net neutrality, encouraging free choice of platform “rather than [having] their choices limited by government mandates.”

Learn more about the Internet Association on its official site and Tumblr blog.

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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