Monthly Archives: April 2016

April 29, 2016 | News, Statements

Statement on TC Heartland Decision

Washington, D.C. – Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman issued the following statement following the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s decision in In re: TC Heartland, LLC:

“The Internet Association is disappointed that the Court of Appeals failed to limit the ability of parties to forum shop in patent litigation. Unfortunately, opportunistic patent trolls have exploited our venue law to shop for favorable forums that enable them to extort settlements from innovators and small businesses. Their strategy is working and getting worse. Just 7 years ago, the Eastern District of Texas received just 9% of patent cases. Today, it is home to nearly half of patent cases nationwide.

“Frivolous patent troll activity has created a cottage industry in East Texas, which hosts nearly 2,000 more new lawsuits last year than the next-busiest court. Congress must stop this abusive and harmful tactic through sensible reforms. Trolls should be prevented from shopping for the court of their choice. In particular, the VENUE Act of 2016, introduced by Senators Flake, Gardner, and Lee would help put an end to notorious forum shopping by patent trolls exploiting our courts. The Internet Association thanks them for their work, and urges Congress to immediately pass this essential legislation.”

 

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April 27, 2016 | News, Statements

Statement on House Passage of the Email Privacy Act

Washington, D.C. – Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman issued the following statement applauding the House passage of the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 699):

“The Internet industry applauds House passage of legislation that further safeguards the privacy of Internet users and their digital content. Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Rep. Kevin Yoder, Rep. Jared Polis, and the House Judiciary Committee have shown great leadership on this issue that affects Americans of all walks of life.

“In the Internet age, digital communications and content need to have the same level of privacy protections as letters in the mailbox or conversations through telephone lines. The Email Privacy Act provides appropriate safeguards for Americans by updating electronic data protections to reflect the modern digital world. It reinforces our constitutional rights to privacy by ensuring that police get a warrant before accessing our most sensitive electronic information. We urge the Senate to take up this bill expeditiously and get it to the President for his signature.”

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April 20, 2016 | News, Press Releases

TransferWise Joins the Internet Association

BECKERMAN: “TransferWise is a perfect example of how the Internet can be used to increase quality and reduce prices for users worldwide.”

 

Washington, D.C. – The Internet Association announced today that TransferWise, the innovative international money transfer platform, has joined its growing membership ranks. TransferWise harnesses the power of the Internet to cut the costs of sending money abroad tenfold. Its innovative peer-to-peer technology allows its customers to avoid the hidden fees that banks charge to send money abroad, and makes it faster and easier than ever for consumers to manage their money internationally.

“Technology is democratizing the financial services sector. At TransferWise, we’re helping people manage their money by making it fair, fast and low-cost to send money internationally,” said Kristo Käärmann, co-founder of TransferWise. “Our membership in the Internet Association is important as we look to engage policymakers so we can help create a more transparent and efficient financial system that is fit for the twenty-first century.”

Co-founded by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann in 2010, TransferWise was created out of frustration with the high fees charged by banks on international money transfers. The company’s innovative approach to financial services has led to its recognition as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, CNBC 50 Disruptor and Forbes Fintech 50 member.

Over 1 million people use the TransferWise platform to send over $750 million a month around the world, saving themselves more than $1 million every day compared to what they would pay through a typical bank. The company’s revolutionary model has received over $91 million in backing from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Sir Richard Branson, Peter Thiel and former Citibank Group CEO Vikram Pandit.

“The Internet Association is thrilled to welcome TransferWise to our membership, as we work to advance pro-Internet public policy solutions that foster innovation, promote economic growth, and empower people through the free and open Internet,” said Michael Beckerman, Internet Association President and CEO. “TransferWise is a perfect example of how the Internet can be used to increase quality and reduce prices for users worldwide.”

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About TransferWise
TransferWise is the international money transfer platform based on peer-to-peer technology. Launched in 2011, it is one of the most successful fintech startups having raised $91m in funding from investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Sir Richard Branson, and Peter Thiel and Max Levchin, the co-founders of PayPal.

Co-founded by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, the company was created out of frustration with the high fees charged by banks on international money transfer. TransferWise uses the mid-market rate – without the hidden mark-up fees — making it up to 10 times cheaper to send money abroad compared to using a bank.

Over $750 million is transferred across the globe every month using the TransferWise platform, saving customers more than $34 million every month. TransferWise is working to make the world a tiny bit better by helping to make the financial system fair.

About the Internet Association
The Internet Association’s mission is to foster innovation, promote economic growth, and empower people through the free and open Internet. The Internet creates unprecedented benefits for society, and as the voice of the world’s leading Internet companies, we ensure stakeholders understand these benefits.  The Internet Association represents the interests of leading Internet companies including Airbnb, Amazon, Auction.com, Coinbase, DoorDash, Dropbox, eBay, Etsy, Expedia, Facebook, Fanduel, Google, Groupon, Handy, IAC, Intuit, LinkedIn, Lyft, Monster Worldwide, Netflix, Pandora, PayPal, Pinterest, Practice Fusion, Rackspace, reddit, Salesforce.com, Snapchat, SurveyMonkey, TransferWise, TripAdvisor, Turo, 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.

April 13, 2016 | News, Statements

Statement on the Email Privacy Act

Washington, DC – Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman issued the following statement applauding the House Judiciary Committee passage of The Email Privacy Act (H.R. 699):

 

“Today’s progress on ECPA reform marks a significant step forward in ongoing efforts to safeguard the privacy of Internet users and their electronically stored content online. The Internet industry applauds Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Rep. Kevin Yoder, Rep. Jared Polis, and the members of the House Judiciary Committee for their leadership on this important issue.

“ECPA reform is necessary to provide Internet users the same warrant protections for their inbox that they enjoy for their mailbox. The Email Privacy Act requires law enforcement to possess a warrant before gaining access to online content, no matter where it is stored or for how long. The Internet industry calls on House and Senate Leadership to send this bill to President Obama’s desk.”

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April 11, 2016 | News, Statements

Statement on the Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016

Washington, DC – Today, Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman issued the following statement registering the Internet industry’s opposition to the leaked discussion draft of the “Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016.”

 

“The draft legislation, as currently written, creates a mandate that companies engineer vulnerabilities into their products or services, which will harm national security and put Americans at risk,” said Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of the Internet Association. “Strong encryption is vital to protecting national security, personal privacy, communications, the electric grid, hospitals, and our defense systems. Mandating the weakening of encryption will put the United States’ national security and global competitiveness at risk without corresponding benefits. As the Administration considers its response to the bill, we hope President Obama takes a position that supports the use of strong encryption without backdoors.”

The draft requires that all Internet companies – or more broadly, “any person who provides a product or method to facilitate a communication or the processing or storage of data” – undermine security features or offer lesser security so that they are able to facilitate government access to data. The bill creates a contradiction by asking companies to both weaken and maintain security at the same time.

Today, the Internet Association also released the first in a series of “Internet Bytes” videos on issues of importance to the Internet. The video features two encryption policy experts — Open Technology Institute Director Kevin Bankston, and Access Now U.S. Policy Manager Amie Stepanovich. In the video, Bankston and Stepanovich explain what encryption is and why strong encryption is important to everyone.

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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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