So-far secret group to promote Internet freedom and economic interests

Matt Pitchford | Contributor

The Internet Association, a new trade group that will officially launch in September, is meant to be a “unified voice of the Internet economy” in Washington, DC, according to their website.

They will represent “the interests of America’s leading Internet companies and their global community of users,” wrote Michael Hacker, spokesman for The Internet Association, in a statement to The Daily Caller.

“The Internet Association will relentlessly represent this critical economic sector, and its vast community of users, to ensure that the Internet will always have a voice in Washington and a seat at the table,” Hacker wrote.

While The Internet Association told TheDC that they are currently unwilling to comment about the membership of the group, TechDirt reported that Google, Amazon, eBay and Facebook are among the charter members.

The National Journal reported that Michael Beckerman, the Association’s first CEO, “will be selling its ‘hands off the Internet’ message by trying to demonstrate its role as an engine of economic growth.”

Whether this approach clashes with other Internet advocacy groups that focus on privacy and user interests, like the Electronic Frontier Foundaton or the Internet Defense League, is an open question, especially considering the fragmented issues surrounding tech policy.

TechDirt wrote that Beckerman “was pretty adamant that if they’re not doing a good job representing the public’s interest as well, then the organization isn’t doing its job.”

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