Google, Facebook, eBay, and Amazon Form D.C. Lobbying Group to Thwart “Series of Tubes”-Level Confusion

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News Posted: Thu, Jul 26 2012 11:30 AM
Tech titans have become accustomed to litigation in recent years as they’re embroiled in perpetual Nineteen Eighty-Four-length patent wars, and now it appears that instead of arguing their cases in front of judges, several companies are planning to address laws by lobbying lawmakers directly.

According to a Reuters report, a lobbying group called the Internet Association will be launching in September, and sources say that the group’s leading members include Google, Facebook, eBay, and Amazon. (So in terms of lobbying dollars, that’s somewhere between way more than enough and an infinite amount of money.)

Internet Association lobby

Although the prospect of yet another lobbying group in Washington perhaps turns the stomach, there is something to be said for an Internet-based group that can educate lawmakers on the myriad Internet-related issues before them. The nation’s leaders have never been known to be especially tech savvy; we imagine the late Ted Steven’s (pictured) infamous “series of tubes” speech still keeps Internet CEOs awake at night.

Although the Obama administration is notably more tech savvy than the previous one--the President installed a tech czar, has supported funding for rural wireless initiatives, refused to relinquish his BlackBerry upon taking office, and owns an iPad, for example--there’s room for more education all across the Capitol.

Reuters quoted the IA’s new president and former advisor to the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Committee, Michael Beckerman as saying, "We want to educate (lawmakers) about the impact of the Internet in their congressional districts. In September, we'll do a full rollout and announce companies and announce policy positions."
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3vi1 replied on Thu, Jul 26 2012 11:51 AM

It's good to see companies like Google (who was very Anti-SOPA) in there, but we still need to keep our eyes on the information they're relaying. It's not too hard to imagine twists on the narrative to create potential legislation that helps these entrenched behemoths to the disadvantage of new startups.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?


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sackyhack replied on Thu, Jul 26 2012 3:55 PM

Even though this sounds like a good idea on paper, somehow I get the feeling that this might be a mixed bag for customers.

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