Google, Facebook, Amazon and eBay go to Washington

Meet the Internet Association, the big dot-coms’ lobby group


The gist of the message to be delivered in Washington. http://www.internetassociation.org/

Google and Facebook are not pals. Amazon has never played nicely with eBay. Yet all four, and undisclosed others, have gotten together to form a bickering supergroup more unlikely than the Avengers. It’s called the Internet Association–a Washington lobby group created to sway U.S. legislators as efforts to regulate and control the Internet ramp up.

Here’s what they’ll be fighting about:

  • Net Neutrality: The Internet Association doesn’t want Internet Service Providers like ComCast to play favourites with customer’s data. Without Net Neutrality, ComCast could slow down Skype calls or Youtube videos to make their own phone and video services more attractive. The Internet Association will likely argue that ISPs have no right to discriminate between different types of data.
  • Sales tax: Lawmakers have been confounded by the explosion of Internet sales and how to tax them. Amazon (and its customers) have benefitted from some antiquated tax code language requiring a business to have a “physical presence” in a state in order for that state to demand the collection of sales tax. This loophole will be closed. What legislation will replace it, and what will it mean for businesses like Amazon and eBay? Billions are tied to the answer to these questions, and the Internet Association will likely do whatever they can to keep a competitive advantage over brick and mortar retail.
  • Privacy: Facebook and Google are data-hungry advertising businesses hell-bent on collecting personal information about their users. Both have fallen afoul of privacy laws around the world. The Internet Association will likely fight to “modernize” privacy legislation. Expect “modernization” to mean “less privacy.”
  • Copyright: Hollywood has a massive Washington lobbying presence that steers U.S. copyright law and enforcement, as well as America’s foreign trade policy. Hollywood, along with the video game, publishing and software industries, have been fighting tooth and nail against the open Internet through copyright. The Internet Association can be expected to fight back and send politicians the message that dot-coms are major industries worth protecting too, with big coffers for campaign donations to boot.

Follow Jesse Brown on Twitter @JesseBrown


Google, Facebook, Amazon and eBay go to Washington

  1. A greater engine of prosperity than agriculture? Are these companies run by people who still live in their parents’ basements?

    • Good lord…is that you, Ned Ludd?

      The industrial revolution was a greater engine of prosperity than agriculture….and the knowledge economy will be bigger still

      • Good lord … is that you Tom Swift with your golly gee cyclotron?
        You seriously believe that tapping away on computers or carrying mobile devices around so we can constantly receive and maybe generate information and advertisements are going to have a more significant economic impact from where we are now to where we will be next, than the global shift from nomadic hunter gatherer culture to agriculture-based economies?
        If you’re so golly gosh sure about the “knowledge economy” tell me where the plenty is going to come from? Digital sandwiches?

          • You can measure economic growth by how much stuff is created (and destroyed) but “propserity” means something else. Prosperity implies having enough food and access to water and shelter, not just appliiances and toys.

          • We’re not talking about Somalia….or subsistence farming….or being peasants. Why are you back in the Dark Ages?

          • “… the world has ever known.”
            So they mean the whole world and all of history and I call bullshit.
            A whole lot of advertising, entertainment and the exchange of cheap products does not equal prosperity. The industrial revolution brought a version of propserity, so I’d concede that, although it was based on gross over spending of ecological capital that is coming to an end. You Tube videos, on the other hand, aren’t going to put fish on the table. So while the Internet is consuming the time of a lot of us who already have enough I just don’t see how it will bring prosperity to those who don’t.

          • The knowledge economy isn’t about advertising, entertainment and cheap products anymore than radishes and fertilizer are the whole of agriculture.

            The knowledge economy….the information age…..will be the biggest change in human history since we learned how to stand upright.

            The ‘internet’ used to be called the ‘information highway’…….and it serves the same function that roads did for agriculture and industry.

            It’s what you put on the highway that matters. The software, not the hardware.

            Like instructions for cloning…..or 3D printing….or GM food.

          • But the Internet representatives in the post above ARE the purveyors of advertising and cheap products and they are the ones meeting in Washington to make the rules and consolidate their dominance.

          • Google is a search engine, Amazon is a bookstore, Facebook allows people around the world to meet each other, and ebay is a global yard sale.

            There are millions of other companies and organizations on the web. Global communication, trade, and information are vital.

            Universities are hooking up, so are scientists…..knowlege is starting to move freely….

          • “they are the ones meeting in Washington to make the rules and consolidate their dominance”
            I can’t agree with you on the other points but I will agree with that.

          • Although I do concede that the advancements I cite (with the exception of GM food) still exist in the realm of fiction.

          • No they’re quite real…..you’re even trying to be a clone. LOL

            But we have real ones, and 3D printing…..you’re just too busy playing games here to know about them

            PS…..you get banned for trying to impersonate a commenter btw


  2. “Google and Facebook are not pals. Amazon has never played nicely with eBay …. It’s called the Internet Association–a Washington lobby group created to sway U.S. legislators as efforts to regulate and control the Internet ramp up.”

    Adam Smith ~ People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices…. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies, much less to render them necessary.

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