2018 Will be an unprecedented year of challenges to the open and innovative Internet.
Near the end of 2017 we were faced with three major fights for the heart and soul of the Internet: The repeal of Net Neutrality by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the renewal of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act (FAA), and threats to the liability protections of Internet service providers in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA). You can read about these threats and more in our 2017 end of year post here. It is important to note however that these threats, and others not yet seen, will not slow down in 2018. These include:
- NAFTA Renegotiations
- Net Neutrality next steps
- Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act (FAA) renewal
- Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) under threat of revision
- The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect
- ICANN’s CCWG Accountability Workstream II concluding
- New GTLD Universal Acceptance efforts pushing forward
As a community of businesses and individuals dedicated to protecting the open and innovative Internet, the i2Coalition will stand firm as the voice of this industry. We will continue to educate legislators on how the Internet works. We will continue to fight legislation that will hurt the Internet. We will continue to grow our efforts toward gender equity and diversity in the Internet infrastructure industry.
We will continue our work as a positive force for the Internet.
In that vein, we are also proud to welcome our first European Board Chair, Michele Neylon. The Internet is an international endeavor, our businesses’ customers aren’t relegated to any one country. Engaging those around the world on the issues we face as an industry is critical. As such we are pleased to welcome Mr. Neylon as Board Chair. Michele is the co-founder and CEO of Blacknight. Founded in 2002 by Michele Neylon, Blacknight quickly became Ireland’s largest hosting and domain provider, as well as an ICANN accredited registrar. Michele is an accomplished and outspoken advocate of the Internet infrastructure industry. He participates in the ICANN GNSO Council, Content Advisory Board of WorldHostingDays, the usTLD Stakeholder Council of Neustar, Inc., and the Policy Advisory Committee of .ie Domain Registry. He is an award-winning social media evangelist and blogger, speaker of four languages, and a passionate philanthropist. Blacknight originally joined the i2Coalition in 2013.
Additionally, the i2Coalition would like to extend its appreciation and thanks to i2Coalition Co-Founder, Policy Chair, and outgoing Board Chair, David Snead. David Snead has worked tirelessly for the i2Coalition, as an outspoken advocate for the industry, and for the Internet as a whole. We are pleased Mr. Snead will be staying with the i2Coalition continuing to lead our Policy Working group as Policy Chair. Co-Founder Christian Dawson will continue on as Executive Director.
Policy Chair and outgoing Board Chair David Snead and Board Chair Michele Neylon are both attending CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas next week. Existing and potential members are invited to reach out to i2Coalition to set up meetings with Mr. Snead or Mr. Neylon while attending CES 2018.
Additionally, the i2Coalition is looking to add a Policy Fellow, an Operations Intern, and a Communications Intern to our Washington D.C. based team. You can find the listing for the Policy Fellow position here. The i2Coalition Policy Fellow will be the primary policy contact for the i2Coalition, our members, the Federal government, regulatory agencies, offices and individuals, and any organizations the i2Coalition works with to move our members’ agendas forward. This Fellow will co-manage our policy working group with an i2Coalition member and collaborate on strategy, content, and outreach. We are looking forward to greatly expanding our policy bandwidth in 2018 to provide even more support to the Internet infrastructure community and our members. Interns are invited to apply year round using our contact form found here.
We will also be launching new content and educational initiatives for our members, policy peers, legislators, and the public throughout 2018. These include monthly member highlights, “fireside” discussions of issues facing our industry, an expansion of our monthly Legislative Update email for members, webinars, white papers, and more. We have exciting plans to engage our members with events and new i2Coalition Member Network features, allowing them further engage our work in ways that weren’t previously possible. Small team and single operator businesses should not miss out on participating in our community’s critical work. To do this we will also be bringing i2Coalition membership to small businesses with special, new small business membership tiers. We’ll have more info on these projects and more throughout the first quarter of 2018.
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As you can see we seek to accomplish even more in 2018 than we did in 2017, and as always the most critical threats to the free and open Internet tend to be the ones that catch us by surprise. We would like to thank all of our member and partner organizations for their continued support, through it we are able to keep fighting the good fight for the community of the Internet infrastructure industry. Together we will ensure that 2018 is a positive and productive year for the open and innovative Internet.