Monthly Archives: February 2017

February 27, 2017 | News, Statements

Statement On Confirmation Of Wilbur Ross As Secretary Of Commerce

Washington, DC – Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman released the following statement on the confirmation of Wilbur Ross as the Secretary of Commerce:

“The internet industry applauds the confirmation of Secretary Ross to lead the Department of Commerce, and supports his enthusiasm towards creating a policy environment that fosters American job growth. The internet is a great American export which is responsible for 6 percent of GDP and nearly three million American jobs. We look forward to working with Secretary Ross as he sets a positive digital agenda – both at home and abroad – to strengthen the U.S. economy.”

February 27, 2017 | News, Press Releases

New Poll Shows Three Quarters of New Yorkers Support Bringing Ridesharing Services to the Entire State

OLSEN: “Albany must listen to the voices echoing from throughout the state that demand ridesharing and pass legislation that allows transportation network companies to operate in New York.”

 

ALBANY, NY – The Siena poll released today shows that 76 percent of New Yorkers support allowing ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft to operate in every part of the State. This includes 88 percent of New Yorkers between the ages of 18 and 34. To view the poll, click here.

“People from all over New York State deserve greater choice and expanded opportunities in transportation, not just those living in New York City,” said John Olsen, executive director of the Internet Association’s new Albany office. “Albany must listen to the voices echoing from throughout the state that demand ridesharing and pass legislation that allows transportation network companies to operate in New York. The internet economy provides middle class New Yorkers the opportunity to participate in new economic opportunities. Our leaders in Albany should help rebuild the middle class in struggling New York markets by allowing these services to operate.”

Earlier this month, Olsen testified before the State Legislature on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to allow ride sharing companies to operate upstate. IA applauded Governor Cuomo’s efforts to bring more transportation choices to all of New York, but urged lawmakers to reduce the proposed 7.5 percent fee attached to fares for riders outside of New York City – one of the highest assessments applied to transportation network companies in the nation.

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February 23, 2017 | News, Press Releases

Pallone and Internet Association Highlight the Value of the Internet to Small Businesses in Asbury Park

BECKERMAN: “The internet connects Asbury Park’s small businesses to customers well beyond the city limits, allowing them to expand, hire more workers, and contribute to the local economy.”

 

Asbury Park, NJ – Today, the Internet Association, along with Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), today visited Asbury Park, NJ to meet with small businesses there to discuss the critical role of the internet in Asbury Park’s growth and success.

“The internet connects Asbury Park’s small businesses to customers well beyond the city limits, allowing them to expand, hire more workers, and contribute to the local economy,” said Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman. “Internet-enabled businesses mean more opportunities, now and in the future, for Asbury Park. The internet industry thanks Rep. Pallone for his leadership in creating policies that will continue to help the businesses we saw today in Asbury Park to thrive.”

“Small Businesses are the engine of our economy and we need to make sure we are giving them the tools to compete in a global economy,” said Pallone. “I am impressed by what these small businesses have been able to achieve using the internet. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress and the Internet Association to ensure that the internet is accessible and a force to help create jobs for entrepreneurs in Asbury Park and throughout New Jersey.”

Internet Association and Rep. Pallone visited four small businesses in Asbury Park that use the internet every day to make sales, engage the community, and connect with customers.

First up was Confections of a Rock$tar Bakery, which uses social media platforms to make the bakery a social center in town and leverages an e-commerce platform to expand their business. The second stop on the tour, at the music venue House of Independents, highlighted how House of Independents uses social media to attract both music fans and musicians, improving their ability to engage with fans and promote their events. Next, the tour visited Second Life Bikes, a non-profit bike shop that uses its website and social tools to broaden its mission. The tour concluded at the co-working space Cowerks, which fosters local small businesses through an internet-enabled shared workspace.

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February 21, 2017 | News, Press Releases

Internet Association Names Its “2016 Internet Champions” In California

Assemblywoman Burke And Assemblyman Mullin Honored For Pro-Internet Advocacy and Leadership

 
Sacramento, CA – Internet Association today recognized California Assembly Members Autumn Burke (D – Inglewood) and Kevin Mullin (D – San Mateo) as 2016 Internet Champions for their advocacy and leadership on internet-related issues in the State Legislature. Assemblyman Mullin and Assemblywoman Burke are strong advocates for California’s internet sector, showing leadership on technology issues in the State Capitol on legislation that promotes growth and opportunity for Californians.

“Assemblywoman Burke and Assemblyman Mullin are the type of forward-thinking leaders our sector relies on to ensure sound internet policy decisions are being made in Sacramento” said Robert Callahan, Executive Director of California for Internet Association. “We are honored to recognize them as Internet Champions and thankful for their excellent leadership on legislation impacting the digital economy.”

The Internet Association’s Internet Champions award recognizes state legislators who have distinguished themselves as vanguards of the internet economy in California each year.

Assemblywoman Burke has assumed a clear leadership role on internet issues since taking office in 2014. As a member of the Legislature’s Technology & Innovation Caucus, she has been a valuable voice in debates ranging from the sharing economy, to privacy, to the modernizing of outdated state laws so that small entrepreneurs can thrive in today’s digital economy. Assemblywoman Burke’s efforts benefit not only the innovators in her tech-heavy district containing parts of Silicon Beach in the Los Angeles area, but she also champions the State’s internet sector as a whole. She is a natural choice for the 2016 Internet Champion recognition.

Assemblyman Kevin Mullin has an established track record of support for pro-internet policies during his tenure in the Legislature. As a member of the Technology & Innovation Caucus, the chair of the Select Committee on Biotechnology, and again designated the Assembly Speaker pro Tempore, he remains a very visible leader on technology issues amongst his colleagues. Since his election in 2012 Assemblyman Mullin has staunchly supported the internet sector in the State Capitol, employing a forward-thinking approach to policy reflective of the innovative Bay Area district he represents. IA is proud to recognize him as a 2016 Internet Champion.

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February 16, 2017 | News, Press Releases

Internet Association Builds Federal Government Affairs Team

WOODWORTH: “Michael’s extensive legislative experience will be an important asset to our bipartisan team as we advocate for policies that help the internet economy grow and thrive.”

 

Washington, DC – Today, Internet Association announced Michael Bloom has joined the organization as Director of Federal Government Affairs. Bloom comes to Internet Association from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office, where he served as a senior advisor.

“Michael’s extensive legislative experience will be an important asset to our bipartisan team as we advocate for policies that help the internet economy grow and thrive,” said Gina Woodworth, Internet Association Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs. “We look forward to gaining Michael’s unique perspective and insight on behalf of our member companies and the millions of internet users they serve.”

As the newest member of the Internet Association’s growing federal government affairs team, Bloom brings over a decade of experience on Capitol Hill, working with senior policymakers throughout government.

At the Leader’s office, Bloom oversaw legislative initiatives, policy projects, and appointments to federal agencies’ boards and commissions. He also played an integral role in staffing and operations for the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. During Rep. Pelosi’s tenure as Speaker of the House, Bloom served as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, where he coordinated with local and state governments.

Bloom holds a degree in Political Science from George Washington University.

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February 14, 2017 | News, Press Releases

Internet Association Brings Political Fundraising Into The Digital Age With New Crowdsourcing Platform

BECKERMAN: “Just as our member companies have done for countless industries, the Internet Association has set out to revolutionize political fundraising.”

 

Washington, DC – Today, the Internet Association announced a new, innovative online platform that enables voters to better engage candidates for federal office on important internet policy issues. The new Internet Association political action platform will allow all Americans to participate, increasing transparency and engagement in the political process. This first-of-its-kind fundraising platform will give internet users unprecedented access to candidates for federal office, and allow them to find out where the candidates stand on important internet issues.

“Just as our member companies have done for countless industries, the Internet Association has set out to revolutionize political fundraising,” said Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of the Internet Association. “This fundamentally internet-based approach will democratize political giving – a process traditionally characterized by exclusivity and an overall lack of transparency – and convert it to a public forum that provides everyday internet voters with the ability to participate in a meaningful way.”

The Internet Association political action platform leverages engagement tools made possible by the internet such as live video streaming and chats with candidates and a real-time contribution system. The platform will allow voters around the country to attend virtual events with candidates, ask questions about their positions on internet issues, provide input to the candidates, and make political contributions.

“As an organization dedicated to making money in politics transparent, the Center for Responsive Politics applauds the Internet Association’s innovative approach to political fundraising and disclosure, which sets a new bar for openness and transparency in the way interests connect with and support candidates,” said Sheila Krumholz, Executive Director of the Center for Responsive Politics. “Money by itself isn’t inherently evil, but some aspects of modern political fundraising are antidemocratic. If this platform leverages technology to reduce the ‘cost’ of giving, facilitates more timely disclosure and brings more citizens into open dialogue with their representatives in Washington, it will have enhanced the democratic process.”

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U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), a member of the Congressional Internet Caucus will be the first members of Congress to receive support from the Internet Association PAC.

Rep. McMorris Rodgers serves as the Chair of the House Republican Conference, where she’s been a constant advocate for improving government through technology. She also advocates for policy makers to connect with innovators and promote a robust startup ecosystem- she’s spoken at SXSW and participated in internet small business crawls. McMorris Rodgers has cosponsored legislation to prevent discriminatory internet access taxes, encourage internet access globally, and supported legislation to enhance STEM education efforts in the US.

Through this online platform, the Internet Association will host events for candidates of both political parties to discuss public policies affecting the internet economy and user community. These events will invite the general public and employees of internet companies to participate in an open dialogue with the candidates. The online video streaming system will broadcast live and archived conversations with candidates for federal office. These conversations will focus on the candidate’s views regarding internet policies and integrate user questions and feedback.

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February 6, 2017 | News, Statements

Statement On House Passage Of The Email Privacy Act

Washington, DC – Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman issued the following statement on the passage of the Email Privacy Act in the U.S. House Of Representatives:

“The internet industry commends Congress for quickly passing the Email Privacy Act early in the legislative session. We thank Rep. Kevin Yoder and Rep. Jared Polis for their efforts to secure its passage in the House, and urge the Senate to pass this bill as soon as possible. The Email Privacy Act extends important privacy safeguards to electronically stored content online. American internet users deserve the same privacy protections for their inboxes that are in place for their mailboxes.”

February 6, 2017 | News, Press Releases

Internet Association Opens Albany Office, Hires New York Executive Director

BECKERMAN: “New York State is at the epicenter of some of the country’s most important internet policy debates. We’re excited to engage on policies that create economic opportunities for businesses and middle class families in the Empire State.”

 
Albany, NY – The Internet Association today announced that John Olsen has joined the organization as its New York Executive Director. He will lead the Internet Association’s new office in Albany, NY. This expansion to Albany represents a significant addition to the Internet Association’s 50-state government affairs program.

“New York State is at the epicenter of some of the country’s most important internet policy debates. We’re excited to engage on policies that create economic opportunities for businesses and middle class families in the Empire State,” said Michael Beckerman, President & CEO of the Internet Association. “John is uniquely positioned to ensure we play a leadership role in New York State, as we have done across the country. We look forward to bringing the voices the internet economy to Albany.”

The internet sector is 6 percent of U.S. GDP and employs nearly 3 million Americans, including more than 200,000 jobs in New York State.

“New York has tried to brand itself as open for business, but entire sectors of the internet economy remain closed off from doing business here,” said Olsen. “I look forward to working with lawmakers, the Governor’s office, and other stakeholders to ensure New York remains competitive and an attractive place for the internet industry to grow.”

One of Olsen’s first acts as New York Executive Director will be to provide testimony on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposals on Tuesday, February 7. In his remarks, he will highlight the Internet Association’s top priorities for this year’s state budget.

Olsen will urge lawmakers to reject the Governor’s unprecedented proposal to require online marketplaces to collect sales taxes on behalf of individual vendors. The proposal creates compliance burdens for growing marketplaces and sets a new precedent for discriminatory tax collection in New York State. He will also applaud Governor Cuomo’s proposal to bring ridesharing to Upstate New York, and will urge lawmakers to reduce the proposed 7.5 percent fee attached to fares for riders outside of New York City — one of the highest assessments applied to transportation network companies in the nation.

Olsen joins the Internet Association after more than a decade at Featherstonhaugh, Wiley & Clyne, LLP one of Albany’s top government relations firms.

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February 3, 2017 | News, Statements

Statement On Zero-Rating Enforcement

Washington, DC – Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman issued the following statement on zero-rating enforcement:

“Protecting consumers and competition is what net neutrality is all about. While zero-rating can meet the consumer protection standards of meaningful net neutrality rules, when done improperly or left unchecked it can also be harmful to consumers and stifle competition online. Properly designed zero-rating programs – such as those that do not unfairly advantage content owned by an ISP – can promote consumer choice without harming competition among apps. Artificially low data caps create false scarcity, which instills an appearance of value in a zero-rating program while harming consumers.”

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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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