Monthly Archives: May 2015

May 19, 2015 | News, Press Releases

Internet Association Signs On To Letter To President Obama Affirming Benefits Of Strong Encryption Technology

WASHINGTON DC—Today, the Internet Association, along with a number of civil society organizations, technology companies, trade associations, and security and policy experts, submitted a letter to President Obama calling for the White House to reject any proposal that requires U.S. technology companies to weaken encryption standards on devices and services in order to maintain the capability to decrypt customer data at the government’s request.

“The Internet Association stands with a diverse group of organizations in urging the Administration to avoid adopting policies that weaken encryption standards for consumer products,” said Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of the Internet Association. “Strong encryption provides billions of consumers across the world with protections from a variety of threats, such as information theft, online fraud, or attacks on free speech by repressive governments looking to stifle dissent. Our hope is that instead of forcing companies to lower their security standards, the Administration will advance policies that promote and protect the wide adoption of strong encryption technology, thereby leading to a more secure future for America and for the world.”

The full letter can be viewed here.

May 14, 2015 | News, Statements

Statement on Trade Promotion Authority Report Language

Washington, D.C. – Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman issues the following statement on recently introduced Trade Promotion Authority report language:

“The Internet’s growth as an important platform for modern commerce and trade hinges on sound U.S. trade policy. In its current form, the legislative text of Trade Promotion Authority does not explicitly reflect the full balance of U.S. copyright law, nor does it fully take into account the benefits of Internet innovation on the global economy. Despite these shortcomings, we are pleased to see that the Senate Finance and House Ways & Means Committees have offered further guidance through important report language that trade policy should embrace a balanced approach to copyright policy. This clarification is a positive step towards ensuring the Internet’s continued success in the global marketplace as a great American export. As we continue to examine closely our nation’s trade deals, we look forward to Congress enacting a Trade Promotion Authority along side customs reauthorization that advances sound Internet policies globally.”

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May 14, 2015 | News, Press Releases, Statements

Calling on New York City Mayor and City Agency To Reconsider Innovation Stifling Regulations

WASHINGTON DC – Today, the Internet Association submitted a letter on behalf of leading Internet companies and organizations to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Taxi and Limousine Commissioners to express concern over recently proposed For-Hire-Vehicle Dispatch Application Rules.

“In recent years, New York City has become a vibrant hub of tech innovation, creating exciting opportunities for economic growth and diversification,” said Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman. “But the rules proposed by Mayor de Blasio’s administration would stifle innovation and the progress it has brought to New York City. This is why the entire internet has come together to protest the de Blasio administration’s rules. Internet companies should not have to ask government for permission to innovate.The Big Apple should maintain its current policies supporting ‘permissionless’ versus ‘permission slip’ innovation.”

“However, the current proposed changes to the FHV Dispatch Application Rules impede software innovation and impose unbearably high costs on new entrants to the market. The Internet Association urges Mayor de Blasio and his agencies to reconsider these proposed rules, and we look forward to working with leaders from New York to ensure the city’s continued presence as a global leader in technology,” Beckerman added.

The draft proposal establishes an agency that oversees regulation of taxis and for-hire vehicles as a gatekeeper for software innovation. Applications not inspected and approved by this agency are prohibited from use and the agency may exercise veto authority over software updates. In addition, the proposal imposes a fee on developers who wish to bring their software to the marketplace. These proposed rules clearly restrict software innovation and impose additional costs that discourage tech entrepreneurs.

The Internet Association is dedicated to promoting policy solutions to foster innovation and drive economic growth. Moving forward, it is vital that local government and regulatory agencies cultivate environments that do not stymie technological innovation and entrepreneurship.

The full letter can be viewed here. 

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May 13, 2015 | News, Press Releases, Statements

USA Freedom Act To Modernize Surveillance Laws Passes House with Overwhelming Bipartisan Majority

Washington, DC – After two years of tireless effort from the Internet industry and others to bring about long-needed surveillance reform, the House Passed the USA Freedom Act of 2015 with an overwhelming bipartisan majority vote of 338-88. Passage of this bill would update surveillance laws to secure users online information in a way that increases transparency and accountability while maintaining national security.

The USA Freedom Act takes meaningful steps to prohibit bulk collection of Internet data and creates systems to improve oversight and accountability of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). Additionally, it sets a foundation for future improvements to surveillance laws.

Protecting global Internet users through surveillance reform is of paramount importance to the Internet industry and our member companies, many of whom have expressed strong support for the USA Freedom Act.

Legislation such as the USA Freedom Act of 2015 is long overdue. The Internet Association strongly supports today’s passage and will continue to emphasize the need for additional surveillance reforms going forward.

May 13, 2015 | News, Statements

STATEMENT: Applauding the Introduction Of Anti-SLAPP Bill

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WASHINGTON DC – Today, the Internet Association issued the following statement in response to the introduction of the federal anti-SLAPP legislation entitled the SPEAK FREE Act:

“The Internet Association applauds this effort to create a national standard for protecting freedom of speech online,” said Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of the Internet Association. “While certain states have passed laws to stem the tide of meritless lawsuits filed for the sole purpose of stifling public debate, it is time that we address the issue on a federal level. The right to free speech – including online reviews and comments from customers – is critical to our rights as Americans and should not be curtailed.”

May 7, 2015 | News, Press Releases, Videos

VIDEO: Here’s What You Should Know About Patent Reform

Washington, D.C. – In advance of this morning’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the PATENT Act, the Internet Association is releasing a video that explains why patent trolls are so harmful to the economy and highlights the need for patent process reform.

Entitled, ‘Here’s What You Should Know About Patent Reform’, the video emphasizes the havoc patent trolls wreak on small businesses and the economy. Numerous bills to address this issue have been proposed in Congress and received overwhelming support, including 14 last year alone. Despite this sweeping bipartisan support, the issue remains unresolved and awaits Congressional action in both the House and Senate.

Leaders in Congress must take steps to stop patent trolls, or they will continue to stifle innovation and hinder our country’s economic growth.

The Internet Association and its member companies are committed to working with Congress to advance patent reform legislation into law and stop patent abuse. Organizations joining the effort include 1776, American Apparel and Footwear Association, American Gaming Association, American Hotel and Lodging Association, Apps Developers Alliance, Coalition for Patent Fairness, Competitive Carriers Association, Computer and Communications Industry Association, Consumer Electronics Association, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Engine, Generation Opportunity, i2Coalition, Information Technology Industry Council, Main Street Coalition, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, Printing Industries of America, Public Knowledge, R Street Institute, The Travel Technology Association, U.S. Telecom Association, and U.S. Travel Association.

Visit www.internetassociation.org to learn more about how you can help stop patent trolls and #fixpatents.

May 6, 2015 | News, Press Releases

Comments on Enhancing Patent Quality

Internet Association Applauds The United States Patent And Trademark Office’s Efforts In Addressing Low Quality Patents

 

WASHINGTON DC—Today, the Internet Association submitted comments to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) commending the office’s efforts to enhance patent quality.

“The Internet Association gives its full support to the Patent and Trademark Office in seeking to improve patent quality standards,” said Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of the Internet Association. “High quality patents promote innovation and encourage inventors to invest in the development of new, useful products. Low quality patents, on the other hand, stifle innovation by creating business uncertainty and opening the door to wasteful litigation. Moving forward, we will continue to provide recommendations to the PTO on how to effectively protect the innovators of America.”

Unfortunately, poor quality patents do not sit idle in today’s legal environment. They are too often acquired by patent assertion entities (PAEs) that use the patents to sue numerous parties and collect settlements from those that cannot afford protracted litigation. Indeed, PAEs particularly prize patents of poorly defined scope because they may leverage that uncertainty to collect larger settlements or create windfall judgments unrelated to the patent’s actual contribution to innovation.

While the Internet Association’s comments maintain there is no single fix for eliminating low quality patents—the PTO’s proposals only address pending patent applications not the millions of patents currently in force–, the group stands behind a number of the PTO’s proposals. Most notably, the Internet Association offers support for PTO proposals that seek to increase the efficiency of the patent review system, such as bringing more clarity to patents and their prosecution record, as well as the office’s willingness to reevaluate its patent quality metrics. The Internet Association also recognizes that the PTO’s resources are limited and that Congressional action is still needed to assist the PTO and to address the current patent litigation boom driven by PAEs asserting low quality patents.

Click here to view the full letter.

May 6, 2015 | News, Statements

Statement on the Digital Single Market

Washington, D.C. – Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman issues the following statement on the European Commission’s plan to build a Digital Single Market:

“The Digital Single Market is a good opportunity to break down barriers between the 28 EU member states to the benefit of EU citizens.  However, we would have concerns if this opportunity was turned into protectionism against innovative U.S. Internet platforms — that EU citizens clearly rely on to engage in online speech and commerce.  The better way forward for digital growth and jobs in Europe is a positive reform agenda that promotes an open and innovative internet. The Internet and EU Internet users do not need or want an EU firewall.”

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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