By Jason Venter | 09-19-2012 | 4:30PM
The Internet Association, which describes itself as “the unified voice of the Internet economy,” today revealed its full membership roster and policy platform. Michael Beckerman serves as the President and CEO of a group that consists of 14 well-known Internet companies. Those companies are responsible for much of the commerce that takes place on the Internet today.
The official list consists of Amazon.com, AOL, eBay, Expedia, Facebook, Google, IAC, LinkedIn, Monster Worldwide, Rackspace, salesforce.com, TripAdvisor, Yahoo!, and Zynga. Certainly, there are a number of major companies that haven’t joined that list—at least not yet—but there’s no denying that it has a lot of clout and perhaps the power and inclination to fight for what Internet consumers want and need.
“A free and innovative Internet is vital to our nation’s economic growth,” Beckerman stated. “These companies are all fierce competitors in the market place, but they recognize the Internet needs a unified voice in Washington. They understand the future of the Internet is at stake and that we must work together to protect it.”
You may recall the concerns that came to light when politicians were considering SOPA. That particular battle was won, at least temporarily, but the necessary struggle surely led companies such as those in The Internet Association to question what they might do differently in the future to more effectively secure the continued existence of the Internet as we know it.
According to the organization’s site, the policy platform “is based on three planks: protecting Internet freedom, fostering innovation and economic growth, and empowering users.”
Of course, much of that is self-serving. Empowered users are more likely to spend money on an Amazon.com shopping spree, for instance, and they’re more likely to leave reviews on TripAdvisor that could even lead to more patronage at fine dining establishments throughout the nation. That’s exactly the sort of behavior that a healthy nation needs in the 21st century, though, and a group that lobbies for that is doing important work.
“The Internet is the fastest growing sector of the U.S. economy with an unparalleled record of job creation and innovation across all sectors,” Beckerman said. “It is the Internet’s decentralized and open model that has unleashed unprecedented entrepreneurialism, creativity and innovation. Policymakers must understand that the preservation of that freedom is essential to the vitality of the Internet itself and the resulting economic prosperity.”
For now, at least, it sounds like the right people are fighting the good fight. Let’s hope things stay that way.