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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.