2012 has been a year filled with stories about Washington trying to regulate the Internet, and now it seems that some of the web’s biggest faces are coming together to do something about it. Google, Facebook, Amazon, and eBay have joined forces to form a new Washington lobbying group called the Internet Association, which aims to “advance public policy solutions that strengthen and protect an open, innovative and free Internet.” The group will be led by former Deputy Staff Director to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Michael Beckerman.
Though we don’t technically know any of the group’s members yet, an anonymous source tells The Washington Post that the four Internet giants listed above are among the Association’s most prominent members. In a statement today, Beckerman said that the Internet’s “decentralized and open model” leads to innovation and job creation, and that we must defend against attempts to “handcuff” the currently-unregulated web. The Internet Association even has its own website up and running today, though there isn’t that much to see there at the moment.
The group will be getting things underway in September, and even though Beckerman has yet to lay out a clear policy plan, we think we have some idea of what it will attempt do in Washington. After all, those four companies have all come out in favor of net neutrality at one point or another, and lately we’ve been seeing Washington trying to pass questionable legislation that would directly affect all of them. Here’s hoping that the Internet Association sticks to its guns when it arrives in Washington later this year, because make no mistake about it – with Facebook, eBay, Google, and Amazon all apparently backing the group, it will have enough sway to essentially get whatever it wants.