Internet Association

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The Internet Association
Type Trade association
Key people
Michael Beckerman; President & CEO

The Internet Association is a United States political lobbying organization based in Washington, D.C., and formed by members of the Internet industry.[1][2]

It purports to represent "America’s leading Internet companies and their global community of users" and is "dedicated to advancing public policy solutions to strengthen and protect Internet freedom (including digital rights management, freedom of information issues, the right to Internet access for underserved groups who do not have at-home access to the Internet, and net neutrality), foster innovation and economic growth and empower users".[3]


Protecting Internet freedom[edit]

The Internet Association believes that "the unique nature of the Internet—free from government control and governed by multiple stakeholders—has unleashed unprecedented entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation far beyond imagination. Every day, the Internet provides access to information and personalized content to hundreds of millions of people around the globe—free of charge and free of political interference. Freedom is essential to the preservation of that platform and the resulting economic growth, job creation and political liberty.

The Internet Association supports policies that protect and promote Internet freedom—information should flow freely across national borders, uninhibited by tariffs, regulations and government censorship that are fundamentally inconsistent with the transnational, free, and decentralized nature of the Internet. To preserve the Internet’s role as a conduit for free expression, Internet intermediaries must not be held liable for the speech and activity of Internet users."[4]

Fostering innovation and economic growth[edit]

The Internet Association states that "the Internet allows inventors, entrepreneurs, organizations, and individual users to create and innovate in unprecedented ways. The low-to-nonexistent barriers to entry have made the Internet a remarkable growth engine for small businesses, creating jobs in every sector of the economy. Internet users of all kinds are driving this extraordinary pace of innovation.

The Internet Association supports policies that ensure individual users, businesses, and governments are able to freely choose which Internet technologies and platforms to use and support, without those choices being unduly constrained by regulatory structures that cannot keep pace with and often have the unintended consequence of stifling innovation".[5]

Empowering users[edit]

The Internet Association says that "Internet-enabled technologies now give all types of users, including individuals, businesses, governments and non-profits, unprecedented control over the content and services they interact with, and the devices and applications they use. The revolution in cloud computing and mobile technologies means that users are no longer tethered to particular locations or devices. Cloud computing has allowed both businesses and individuals to harness massive computing and storage power without needing to buy software or purchase and host the underlying infrastructure themselves.

The Internet Association supports policies that allow all users to take full advantage of the product innovations that technology makes available to them rather than have their choices limited by government mandates. The Internet Association also supports policies that recognize the diversity and value of the business models used by various players in the Internet ecosystem".[6]


On July 25, 2012, news outlets reported that several internet companies, including Google, Amazon, eBay and Facebook were founding a new lobbying group. Michael Beckerman was appointed President and CEO of the new Internet Association, set to publicly launch in September 19 of that year.[7][8][9]

The association took issue with the FCC's initial net neutrality proposal in July 2014, advocating stronger neutrality rules.[10] The Internet Association later praised the newer rules that surfaced in early 2015 under a title II framework.[11] Additionally, the association applauded the development of net neutrality legislation by the Republican Party in the US Congress, which was developed as an alternative to the FCC reclassification proposal.[12]

The association advocates patent reform legislation, to make it more difficult for patent trolls to sue for patent damages.[13]

In 2015, Internet Association president and CEO Michael Beckerman criticized the Seattle authorities for allowing transportation network company drivers to form unions, claiming that it would "undermine the ability of for-hire and ride-sharing companies to operate".[14][15]

In 2017, the Internet Association opposed California AB 375, a data privacy bill that would require Internet service providers to obtain customers' permission to collect and sell their browsing history. The organization signed a letter that claimed that the proposal would "lead to recurring pop-ops to consumers that would be desensitizing" and "prevent Internet providers from using information they have long relied upon to prevent cybersecurity attacks and improve their service".[16]

The Internet Association is a lobbying group, and reported $1.5 million in political lobbying in the year 2014.[17]


Founding members include Amazon, eBay, Facebook, and Google.[18][19] Other members include:


  1. ^ Steve McCaskill (July 26, 2012). "Web Giants Form Internet Association To Lobby US Government". TechWeek Europe. 
  2. ^ Jon Fingas (Jul 26, 2012). "Internet Association to lobby Washington, may tout Amazon, Facebook, Google among its ranks". Engadget. Retrieved 2012-07-27. 
  3. ^ "Internet Association". Internet Association. Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "Protecting Internet Freedom". The Internet Association. 
  5. ^ "Fostering Innovation and Economic Growth". The Internet Association. 
  6. ^ "Empowering Users". The Internet Association. 
  7. ^ Ingrid Lunden (25 Jul 2012). "Stealth-Mode DC Lobby Group Internet Association (Google, Amazon, FB, eBay) Names CEO". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 7 Feb 2015. 
  8. ^ Chris Frates (25 Jul 2012). "Exclusive: New Internet Industry Trade Association to Launch". National Journal. Retrieved 7 Feb 2015. 
  9. ^ Bachman, Katy. "Fast Chat: The Internet Association's Michael Beckerman Head lobbyist for 14 Web giants readies for new Congress By Katy Bachman". AdWeek. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  10. ^ Rachel King (14 July 2014). "Internet Association voices concerns about FCC's net neutrality proposal". ZDnet. Retrieved 9 Feb 2015. 
  11. ^ Ted Johnson (4 Feb 2015). "Net Neutrality: FCC Chairman Proposes To Reclassify Internet Like a Utility". Variety. Retrieved 9 Feb 2015. 
  12. ^ Julian Hattem (15 Jan 2015). "Tech giants cheer GOP lawmakers' net neutrality moves". The Hill. Retrieved 9 Feb 2015. 
  13. ^ Eric Hal Schwartz (5 Feb 2015). "Patent Troll Bill Will Get Second Shot Now That Republicans Control Congress". DC Inno. Retrieved 9 Feb 2015. 
  14. ^ Seattle City Council votes to allow Uber and Lyft drivers to unionize - Joe Mullin, Ars Technica, 14 December 2015
  15. ^ Uber and other drivers want flexibility, not union bosses - Michael Beckerman, Seattle Times, 9 December 2015
  16. ^ ISPs claim a privacy law would weaken online security and increase pop-ups - Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, 14 September 2017
  17. ^ "Lobbying Spending Database: Internet Assn". Center for Responsive Politics. 22 Jan 2015. Retrieved 9 Feb 2015. 
  18. ^ Ingrid Lunden (2012-07-25). "Stealth-Mode DC Lobby Group Internet Association (Google, Amazon, FB, eBay) Names CEO". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2012-07-27. 
  19. ^ "Facebook, Google, eBay and Amazon join US lobby group". BBC News. 2012-07-26. Retrieved 2012-07-27. 

External links[edit]