Monthly Archives: November 2015

November 23, 2015 | News, Statements

Statement on Encryption

Washington, D.C. – Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman issued the following statement on encryption:

“Weakening encryption by requiring companies to engineer vulnerabilities into their services makes us all less safe and less secure. Encryption protects billions of global Internet users from countless daily threats to the financial system, sensitive infrastructure (like our electric grid), and from repressive governments looking to stifle speech and democracy. The Internet industry has great respect for the role law enforcement plays in our national security, but without encryption, we are all less safe.”

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November 18, 2015 | Letters, News, Press Releases

Supporting Training Opportunities For Foreign STEM Students

Beckerman: “As the home of Internet innovation and a leader in the global economy, the U.S. should do all it can to attract and maintain talented individuals, particularly those who hold degrees in STEM fields.”

 

Today, the Internet Association sent a letter to Katherine Westerlund Policy Chief of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, to offer support and feedback for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) proposed changes to the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program.

Under new DHS rules for the OPT program, nonimmigrant (F-1) students with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees would be provided with opportunities for on-the-job training for up to 24 months, an increase from the current maximum duration of 17 months. Additionally, the new DHS rules would allow individuals to use a previously or subsequently earned STEM degree to become eligible for a STEM OPT extension.

“As the home of Internet innovation and a leader in the global economy, the U.S. should do all it can to attract and maintain talented individuals, particularly those who hold degrees in STEM fields,” said Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman. “Improving and expanding the OPT program is an impactful step in the right direction, as OPT trainees have played a vital role in driving growth in the Internet economy. The extension of this critical program will allow these high skilled workers to remain in the U.S. longer, increasing the economic benefit that they can bring to our companies, the users they serve, and the American economy at large.”

Roughly 20 percent of today’s U.S. STEM workers with bachelor’s degrees are foreign-born individuals. That number jumps to 40 percent for STEM workers who hold advanced degrees. The contributions of these foreign-born workers can be felt throughout the economy, but especially in high tech firms; one quarter of U.S. high tech firms established since 1995 have had at least one foreign-born founder, and these new firms employ roughly 450,000 people, while generating $50 billion in sales.

While these nonimmigrant (F-1) students receive their education and training here in the U.S., an increasing number are contributing to economies abroad, instead of the U.S. This is due, in part, to the fact that current rules governing nonimmigrant (F-1) students dictate that many cannot stay in the U.S. long-term. However, an additional factor contributing to this loss of talent has grown in recent years. A recent report using LinkedIn data to examine the impact of immigration on different sectors of the U.S. economy suggests that skilled, foreign-born professionals increasingly see the U.S. as a less attractive country to work in for a number of reasons. These include increased competition in other countries for highly skilled migrants and inefficiencies created by U.S. immigration laws, among others.

To read the full letter, click here.

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November 16, 2015 | News, Press Releases

Internet Association Launches “New Yorkers for Ridesharing”

Community organizations, businesses, and civic leaders join call to bring Internet-based transportation options back to upstate New York

 

ALBANY, NY – On Monday, the Internet Association joined the CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity, Visit Buffalo-Niagara, and the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired to launch the “New Yorkers for Ridesharing” coalition and call for state legislators to bring Internet-based ridesharing platforms back to upstate New York. The Internet Association, which represents America’s leading Internet companies, highlighted the impact ridesharing would have on local economies in addition to improving transportation options for people living upstate.

“Ridesharing is beloved by consumers who need a convenient, safe ride and those looking to earn extra money working for themselves,” said Noah Theran, Head of Public Affairs, Internet Association. “New York State must affirm that it welcomes innovation, competition, and user choice in transportation. New Yorkers demand access to the same innovative transportation options available to residents of 28 states and countless cities across the country.”

Ridesharing uses Internet-based platforms to connect drivers with people in need of a ride. Drivers use their own cars and are connected with passengers through a variety of apps that operate in hundreds of cities and towns nationwide. It provides an inexpensive, safe way for people to get around by car on their own schedules and can be a useful source of flexible, part-time income for anyone with a clean driving record and a car. For local business owners, it brings in customers who would not otherwise be able to access their services, generating additional revenue.

The coalition calls for legislators to implement a comprehensive statewide regulatory framework that would allow Transportation Network Companies to operate and permit drivers to obtain the insurance necessary to use ridesharing platforms upstate.

Mary Boland, Director of Communications and Community Relations for the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, said, “Ridesharing would make a huge difference in the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired in New York. It would enable them to have greater independence and gain more control of their schedules. It’s time that we brought ridesharing to New York and helped level the playing field for everyone who lives here.”
Patrick Kaler, President & CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara, said, “Ridesharing would help New York’s tourism industry put its best foot forward and increase opportunities for local business owners. Ridesharing platforms help visitors enjoy our local restaurants, shop at our local business and get to know the region that we love. Let’s make sure New York isn’t left behind and bring this important service to our communities.”

Robert Simpson, President of CenterState CEO, said, “Transportation innovations such as ride-sharing have the potential to fill service gaps and create more adaptive and innovative transportation options for our community,” said Robert Simpson, president of CenterState CEO. “Ride-sharing programs provide greater options for workers, visitors, students and residents alike. For Central New York to advance itself as a forward thinking and progressive community we must be open to new ideas and opportunities.”

One ridesharing app, Lyft, operated in Rochester and Buffalo for a short period in 2014. During that time, the platform provided over 1,000 rides per week in each community.

Support for ridesharing has grown considerably in recent weeks and months, with the Assembly Standing Committees on Insurance, Transportation, Cities, and Local Governments holding roundtable discussions on ridesharing in October and a Senate discussion scheduled for Thursday, November 19.

For more information about New Yorkers for Ridesharing, and to read testimonials from drivers and riders from across New York State, please visit http://ridesharingny.com/

About the Internet Association
The Internet Association, the unified voice of the Internet economy, represents the interests of the leading Internet companies including Airbnb, Amazon, Auction.com, Coinbase, Dropbox, eBay, Etsy, Expedia, Facebook, Fanduel, Gilt, Google, Groupon, Handy, IAC, Intuit, LinkedIn, Lyft, Monster Worldwide, Netflix, Pandora, PayPal, Pinterest, Practice Fusion, Rackspace, reddit, Salesforce.com, Sidecar, Snapchat, SurveyMonkey, TripAdvisor, Twitter, Uber Technologies, Inc., Yahoo!, Yelp, Zenefits, and Zynga. The Internet Association is dedicated to advancing public policy solutions to strengthen and protect Internet freedom, foster innovation and economic growth, and empower users. www.InternetAssociation.org.

About New Yorkers for Ridesharing
New Yorkers for Ridesharing is a coalition of community organizations, businesses, civic organizations, advocates, regular citizens, and more calling for affordable, reliable, and safe transportation alternatives for Central, Upstate, and Western New York. Internet-based ridesharing platforms can fill important gaps for residents where public transportation is limited or unreliable and serve as a flexible source of income for cash-strapped New Yorkers. New Yorkers for Ridesharing is calling on state legislators to allow these innovative services to operate in New York State as they already do in hundreds of cities and towns across the country. The time for ridesharing is now!

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November 12, 2015 | News, Press Releases

Internet Association Files Amicus In Support of FCC Municipal Broadband Order

Slater: “Access to broadband Internet is an essential tool in our daily lives, and yet an estimated 55 million Americans lack access. Broadband Internet access is to today’s Americans what access to electricity was in a previous era.”

 

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Internet Association filed an amicus brief in U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in support of the FCC’s orders supporting local communities’ efforts to bring broadband to their citizens. The states of North Carolina and Tennessee ask the court to prevent the Commission from executing its statutory obligation to promote broadband services and remove barriers to broadband deployment.

“Access to residential broadband Internet is an essential tool in our daily lives, and yet an estimated 55 million Americans lack access. Broadband Internet access is to today’s Americans what access to electricity was in a previous era. The Internet Association supports the FCC as well as the local communities that are protecting the right to invest in their future,” said Abigail Slater, Internet Association Vice President of Legal and Regulatory Policy.

From the Internet Association amicus brief:

“It is not surprising, therefore, that the Commission decided to grant the petitions of the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga (“EPB”), Tennessee, in whole, and the City of Wilson, North Carolina, in part. Those decisions represent a step toward broadband abundance. In urging this Court to reverse the Commission’s decision, Petitioners and their amici ask the Court to take a step in the opposite direction, toward retrenchment, even in the face of the startling evidence regarding the state of broadband deployment and competition in America. We urge the Court to deny the petitions.”

There is limited competition in the high-speed broadband market. The FCC’s 2015 Broadband Progress Report found that 55 million Americans lack access to broadband Internet.

“Nearly one in five Americans does not have the option of accessing broadband services. A full 45 percent of Americans have access to only one provider of broadband services. This means that the majority of the population in the United States either lacks access, or has access to only one provider of broadband services,” the brief states.

To read the full amicus, click here.

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November 9, 2015 | News, Statements

Statement On The FCC’s Decision Not To Regulate Edge Providers

Washington, D.C. – Today, Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman issued the following statement on the FCC’s decision not to regulate edge providers:

“We are pleased that the FCC has confirmed that it does not intend to use Section 222 of the Communications Act to regulate edge providers. Competition among edge providers is only a click away, and members of the Internet Association compete fiercely for users by providing superior products and services. We support the Commission’s continuing commitment to refrain from regulating Internet content providers and platforms.”

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November 4, 2015 | News, Press Releases

Internet Association Expands State Team with New Hire

BECKERMAN: “Dusty will be a major asset for the organization as we expand our state government affairs program to all 50 states and represent our member companies across all levels of government.”

 

Today, the Internet Association announced the addition of Dusty Brighton, who joins the organization as the Vice President of State Government Affairs. Brighton’s efforts will focus on advocating for pro-Internet policies at the state and local levels across the country.

“Dusty will be a major asset for the organization as we expand our state government affairs program to all 50 states and represent our member companies across all levels of government,” said Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of the Internet Association. “Our success advocating at the state level in California has helped us develop an excellent blueprint for creating a meaningful impact in state capitals from coast to coast. We look forward to continuing our work across the country on behalf of Internet companies and the users they serve.”

Brighton most recently served as Vice President at Stateside Associates, where he played a major role spearheading advocacy engagement with the state Attorneys General and advising clients on issue campaign strategies and public policy engagements. Previously, Brighton served as Director of Government Relations for eBay, where he managed lobby activities in an attempt to increase the company’s visibility with elected officials and their staffs at the federal, state, and international levels.

Brighton will report to Gina Woodworth, who was recently promoted to the role of Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs. He joins the existing Internet Association state team, comprised of Robert Callahan and Lauren Kimzey.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dusty as the newest member of our growing team,” said Woodworth. “The deep knowledge and expertise Dusty has gained over 20-plus years working at the nexus of public policy and private industry will allow us to tackle issues not just in Washington D.C. and California, but everywhere in between.”

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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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