Privacy

Internet Association Lobby formed


In what is bound to change the terms of negotiations of internet related legislation, 4 of the largest internet companies have come together with other undisclosed companies to form the Internet Association Lobby. The four are Google, Facebook, Amazon and Ebay, led by former (US) Congressional staffer Michael Beckerman.
While the coming together of these 4 super-heavyweights is potentially scenery changing, the only common ground that I can see is net-neutrality and of course the stronger possibility for tax-breaks now.
Net-neutrality, essentially preserving a free and open internet, guarantees a level playing field for all websites and technologies without discrimination to types of content or applications. As I see it, the primary issue with not ensuring net-neutrality is that it removes the first-time-ever completely level playing field that society has access to. You can read more about net-neutrality here.
Given that policy makers have made a habit of misunderstanding technology and society’s interaction with it, it would seem to be a positive step to finally have a strong lobby comprised of the industry members. I’m mostly referring to US policies here, which of course have a direct fallback on the rest of the world. To be fair though, it seems like efforts are being made to educate policy makers with the ins and outs of the internet, sometimes even humorously by making them take part in online popularity contests!
Coming back to the The Internet Association though, there is one major concern that comes to mind and which should be guarded against if possible.
The thought of even just Google and Facebook together immediately takes my mind to privacy concerns. Zuckerberg has shown little regard to customer’s privacy concerns and Google has often come in the spotlight for compiling user data. Throw in Amazon’s store along with it’s ever-growing services section, and the thought of sharing data between companies is bound to come up.
We’ll just have to wait, hope for the best and see how it plays out.
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5 comments.

  1. AvatarSwaraj Paul Barooah

    Hi IPseudonym, I don’t think anti-competitive behaviour would arise from this group as they have come together only for lobbying purposes.

    In my view, while Google, Facebook and Amazon each have their own distinctive approaches to their online businesses, they are also constantly trying to up their game so that the others can’t encroach on their territory.
    They seem to be coming together only to the extent that potential internet legislation seems to be affecting them all negatively, and so as to fill in the void of a unified voice from the tech world. So repercussions from their lobbying would affect the tech world equally.

    Reply
  2. AvatarUnknown

    Hi Swaraj

    Congratulations on the stewardship of this blog and – as one of your many regular readers – thank you for doing this. On this post about the Internet Association, the first thing that came to my mind was lobbying against attempts to impose stricter standards of indirect/vicarious/contributory liability for the infringing activities of users. They’ve all been prominent defendants in IP dipsutes over the past few years.

    Best wishes

    Dev

    Reply
  3. AvatarSwaraj Paul Barooah

    Thank you Dev. Much appreciated!

    As far as lobbying goes, their prime opponents are likely to be the MPAA and RIAA whose pockets are unfortunately much deeper.. But it’s certainly a good start and will cause them to at least think twice before coming up with more absurd propositions.

    Reply

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