Monthly Archives: January 2015

January 29, 2015 | News, Press Releases

New Trade Report Highlights Role Of The Internet As A Platform For Global Trade

BECKERMAN: “It is time U.S. trade policy reflects the integral role that digital trade and the Internet plays in our modern economy.”

 

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Internet Association released a report highlighting the importance of the Internet economy to global trade, and brought three small business owners to Capitol Hill to illustrate the importance of including digital trade provisions in future trade legislation. Emphasizing that the United States is a net exporter of Internet services and products, the Internet Association’s newest policy paper focuses on the experiences of Internet-enabled small businesses competing in today’s global economy.

“The Internet industry calls on Congress to pass trade legislation that recognizes the importance of Internet-enabled trade,” said Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of the Internet Association. “When the last TPA bill was passed in 2002, some of the most well known Internet companies had either just come into existence or did not exist as all. It is time U.S. trade policy reflects the integral role that digital trade and the Internet plays in our modern economy.”

With over three billion users, the Internet is integrated into every aspect of global commerce and communications, accounting for 21 percent of worldwide GDP growth in advanced economies. Internet platforms level the playing field for small and medium sized businesses, are proven drivers of economic growth, and allow users to transcend borders and cultures to reach new customers.

In the U.S. alone, American Internet companies and their global community of users contribute over $141 billion in annual revenue to the overall U.S. GDP, simultaneously employing 6.6 million people. In order to further encourage consumer-oriented online commerce and economic growth, the report emphasizes the need for policies that foster digital trade and enable businesses of all sizes to reach consumers across the globe.

The full report can be viewed here.

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January 26, 2015 | News, Press Releases

Internet Association Announces Recipients of First Annual California Internet Champions Award

Assemblyman Calderon and Assemblyman Perea Honored for Pro-Internet Advocacy and Leadership

 

Sacramento, CA – The Internet Association announced today that California Assembly Members Ian Calderon and Henry T. Perea are being honored as 2014 Internet Champions for their advocacy and leadership on Internet-related issues in the State Legislature. Assemblyman Perea and Assemblyman Calderon have been champions of the Internet economy, natural leaders on technology issues, and have helped rally their colleagues around legislation that supports growth and opportunity for Californians.

“Assemblyman Perea and Assemblyman Calderon have both recognized the potential of the Internet for California businesses and residents, and have set a precedent of thoughtful legislative leadership on technology issues,” said Robert Callahan, California Executive Director for the Internet Association. “We are grateful for their efforts, and hope that California policymakers follow their example, continuing to foster innovation and growth in the Internet economy.”

Today marks the inaugural presentation of the Internet Association’s Internet Champions award, recognizing California state legislators who have distinguished themselves as vanguards of the Internet economy. The awards will be presented at the Internet Association’s Session Kickoff Event this evening in Sacramento.

Assemblyman Ian Calderon (AD 57 – Whittier) has taken the lead on many Internet and technology issues since assuming office in 2012. As Chair of the Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, & Internet Media Committee, he ensured that California’s robust Internet economy and innovation ecosystem were key considerations in all Internet policy debates. As a well-versed and knowledgeable advocate on Internet issues, Calderon is a natural choice for the Internet Champion recognition. ‘

Assemblyman Henry T. Perea (AD 31 – Fresno) has been a long-time advocate for pro-Internet policies in the Assembly and a leader for the technology sector. His tireless leadership has helped ensure that the innovation economy is a key consideration in every Internet policy debate and that laws coming out of Sacramento support continued growth in the Golden State’s homegrown Internet sector. In August, he joined the Internet Association for a Small Business Crawl in Fresno, which highlighted the ways in which local businesses use the Internet to grow, connect with their customers, and reach new audiences.

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January 21, 2015 | News, Press Releases

Orlando Ridesharing Ordinance Will Limit Consumer Choice In Transportation

BECKERMAN: “Orlando is setting a dangerous precedent that entrenched interests, such as existing taxi operations, can use political pressure to advance policies that run counter to the public’s best interest.”

 

Washington, D.C. – The Internet Association submitted a letter to Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer today, expressing the Internet industry’s serious concerns with anti-competitive provisions that target Orlando’s ridesharing companies, found in the recently passed Ordinance 2014-64.

“Ridesharing has been embraced in cities all across the country, as companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar revolutionize the way we travel within our communities,” said Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of the Internet Association. “Orlando is setting a dangerous precedent that entrenched interests, such as existing taxi operations, can use political pressure to advance policies that run counter to the public’s best interest.”

The ordinance codifies into law minimum fares and excessive vehicle and driver permit fees that serve no practical purpose other than to diminish transportation competition in Orlando. The city is demanding that consumers pay 30 to 50 percent more per ride than they would in other locations. Additionally, the legislation requires vehicle and driver permit fees that do not take into account the reality that many of the Orlando residents who partner with ridesharing services often work part time, making such steep fees a significant barrier to starting their own business. In fact, if this legislation is permitted to stand, ridesharing companies would be required to pay Orlando licensing fees that amount to double the cost to operate in the entire state of Colorado.

The Internet Association is urging Orlando’s public leaders to amend this ill-advised ordinance, affirming Orlando’s commitment to embracing innovation and competition over entrenched interests that limit consumer choice in transportation.

The full letter can be viewed here.

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January 16, 2015 | News, Statements

Statement on U.K. Internet Encryption Proposals

Washington, D.C. –  Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman issues the following statement on British Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent Internet encryption proposals:

“Just as governments have a duty to protect to the public from threats, Internet services have a duty to our users to ensure the security and privacy of their data. That’s why Internet services have been increasing encryption security, and that’s why government access to data should be rule-bound, transparent, and tailored.”

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January 15, 2015 | News, Press Releases

Digital Trade Must Remain At Forefront Of Trade Agenda In 2015

BECKERMAN: “ANY TRADE AGREEMENT THE UNITED STATES ENTERS MUST BE UPDATED TO REFLECT THE IMPACT THAT THE INTERNET INDUSTRY HAS ON U.S. ECONOMIC AND JOB GROWTH.”

 

Washington, D.C. – The Internet Association submitted a letter to the leadership of the Senate Finance and House Ways & Means committees today, urging Members of Congress to implement provisions that recognize the importance of and embrace digital trade in the newest draft of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill. Priorities include strong protections for intellectual property while also ensuring that important provisions of U.S. copyright law are fully reflected in any potential legislation.

“The Internet is an important export for the United States economy. Most Internet companies are based in the U.S., but the users are predominantly located abroad,” said Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of the Internet Association. “Any trade agreement the United States enters must be updated to reflect the impact that the Internet industry has on U.S. economic and job growth.”

Introduced in 2014, the most recent version of proposed trade promotion legislation is missing the necessary limitations and exceptions like fair use of copyrighted content for today’s digital innovators. Without these safeguards, websites could not provide snippets and links to other sites, services would be unable to “cache” copies of files for faster browsing, artists could be prohibited from creating mash-ups of existing content, and researchers would be unable to use others’ digital databases to solve problems using data analytics. These types of collaboration and innovation – among others – have helped Internet companies contribute $141 billion in annual revenue to overall U.S. GDP and employ 6.6 million people in recent years.

In addition to providing updated language addressing the current imbalance in intellectual property protections, the letter also highlighted other key priorities to any new proposed TPA language. These include policies such as intermediary liability, which protects Internet platforms from being liable for third party content. Other priorities outlined in the letter include the harmonization of customs and duties across technology-related goods and services and the promotion of open payment systems.

The letter noted that as a leading driver of commerce and economic growth, accounting for 21 percent of GDP growth in advanced economies and generating $8 trillion in annual global commerce, the Internet industry must be able to provide equal opportunities for both content creators and users, while simultaneously protecting all parties that benefit from this resource. Embedding technology-neutral policies into TPA will ensure that the Internet is able to continue to promote competition, growth, trade, and innovation for years to come.

The full letter can be viewed here.

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January 15, 2015 | News, Statements

Statement on Net Neutrality Hearings

Washington, D.C. – Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman issues the following statement on the announcement of Congressional hearings on net neutrality:

“The Internet Association appreciates Congress’ support for net neutrality principles applying to both mobile and fixed broadband – specifically a ban on paid prioritization, blocking, and discrimination. What really matters is the Internet user’s online experience and the creation of strong enforceable rules to protect an open Internet. As we review Congressional proposals, we will continue to push the FCC to produce enforceable rules. The path forward is not a binary choice, and we have a responsibility to protect a free and open Internet by working with regulators, legislators, and stakeholders.”

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January 13, 2015 | News, Statements

Statement on the Internet of Things Caucus

Washington, D.C. – Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman issues the following statement about the creation of the Internet of Things Caucus:

“The Internet Association applauds Congressman Issa and Congresswoman DelBene in their creation of the Internet of Things Caucus. The Internet is a tremendous driver of economic growth, and under the leadership of Representative Issa and Representative DelBene, the Internet of Things Caucus will be an important forum to promote policies that embrace innovation and new opportunities online.”

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January 13, 2015 | News, Statements

Statement on President Obama’s Privacy and Data Security Proposals

Washington, D.C. – Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman issues the following statement on President Obama’s data privacy and security proposals announced today at the Federal Trade Commission:

“Maintaining the privacy and security of users is a key principle that all members of the Internet Association take seriously. User trust and comfort with our products is fundamental to the success of the Internet. The details of President Obama’s proposals matter, and we look forward to learning more in the coming weeks. We appreciate that President Obama acknowledged the Internet industry’s leadership in innovation, in privacy and security, and the Internet’s role in economic growth.”

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Latest News

Top Internet Business Leaders Confirmed To Speak At Internet Association’s Third Annual Virtuous Circle Summit BECKERMAN: “The value of the Virtuous Circle Summit is the conversations that take place when you bring together the leading voices in the internet innovation and policy space.” Washington, DC — Today, Internet Association announced its initial list of confirmed speakers Read more »

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