Election Day 2012 and the Internet
The ballots have finally been cast and the results are tabulated. President Obama will serve another term with a Democratic majority in the Senate and Republican majority in the House. With the political landscape set for at least the next two years until mid-term elections, it’s now time to focus on important public policy issues impacting the Internet Infrastructure Industry.
We launched the i2Coalition with the goal of providing a unified voice for the industry and now we have the unique opportunity to be engaged in key public policy debates going forward. Earlier this year, we successfully banded together to help defeat PIPA and SOPA. With the hosting industry’s influence, we convinced Congress that the legislation would have stifled innovation and compromised free speech.
Through our public awareness campaigns and press conferences, we helped educate the public and members of Congress about the destructive nature of the legislation. A Senate staffer even described the campaign against SOPA and PIPA “the most effective single day advocacy in the modern, social media era.”
For this session, among the topics we’re starting to watch include:
- Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA): A replacement to the 1986 ECPA bill has been Sponsored by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) in the House and an update to it is being worked on by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in the Senate. Modernizing this bill would help to streamline compliance issues by requiring warrants for all email correspondence.
- The Global Free Internet Act of 2012: Introduced by Representative Lofgren (D-CA) in September, the Global Free Internet Act would create a Task Force on the Global Internet that focuses on policies and practices of governments that threaten the technical operation, security, and free flow of global Internet communications.
- Cybersecurity Act of 2012: On August 2nd, 2012, the U.S. Senate failed to pass cybersecurity legislation, effectively filibustering the bill by falling short (52-46) of the 60 votes needed to cut off debate. This bill is likely to come up in the lame duck session.
While we are focused on public policy domestically, we are also making our industry a priority internationally. As a whole, our industry has proven its effectiveness in the SOPA and PIPA debate and the i2Coalition will continue to make public policy one of our top priorities to ensure continued growth and innovation in this important economic sector.