Press Release: Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition) Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary with Industry Fly-in
Honors Congressional Champions and Industry Leaders
Coalition’s formation was a direct result of a massive, digital grassroots movement to defeat the House Stop Online Piracy Act, and the Senate Protect IP Act (SOPA/PIPA)
Washington, D.C., June 23, 2022 – A decade ago, just a handful of small Internet infrastructure enterprises were even aware of a Congressional effort to combat infringement by foreign “rogue” websites, called the Combating Online Infringement, and Counterfeits Act, or COICA, introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). While well-intentioned, the bill would have allowed for the mass blocking of websites by the Department of Justice without due process, on the say-so of intellectual property holders.
“The unintended due process consequences of COICA, which eventually legislatively became the House of Representatives Stop Online Piracy Act, and the Senate Protect IP Act (SOPA/PIPA), gave birth to a massive, digital grassroots movement that not only defeated SOPA/PIPA but also produced a large wave of Internet activism organizations,” said Christian Dawson, Executive Director of the i2Coalition. “The most important outgrowth of the SOPA/PIPA saga turned out to be the creation of permanent organizations like ours, the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition), a unified, independent voice for Internet infrastructure providers.”
The Coalition work does not occur, ten years ago nor now, in a vacuum which is why on its 10th anniversary it is honoring its Congressional champions, Representatives Darrell Issa and Anna Eshoo with the Coalition’s Champion of the Internet award.
“As Internet infrastructure providers, we are best positioned to explain to policymakers how the technology works and that their well-intentioned proposals to fix problems can actually undermine the functioning of the Internet ecosystem,” said Dawson. “And Congresswoman Eshoo and Congressman Issa, both tech allies and industry supporters, approach policy making thoughtfully and collaboratively, always looking for solutions that accomplish policy goals and make it possible for small and medium-sized Internet infrastructure businesses to continue operating at scale.”
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) was elected in 2000 and was one of the most outspoken opponents of the controversial SOPA legislation. In 2012, he proposed a legislative time-out in the form of a moratorium on new Internet regulations for the next two years in order to circumvent bad Internet laws following SOPA. He even put this bill on Reddit to get feedback from the online community at a time when that wasn’t commonplace. He continues to be a committed supporter of intellectual property and American innovation.
Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) has been a champion of a free and open Internet for decades. During the debate on SOPA, she voiced concern about the measure, predicting it would invite “an explosion of innovation-killing lawsuits and litigation.” Since serving as a conferee on the landmark Telecommunications Act of 1996, and in her role as a senior member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, Rep. Eshoo has steadfastly led a multitude of legislative initiatives supporting Internet growth and innovation, from broadband deployment to close the digital divide, to the protection of consumer data privacy and security, to efficient spectrum allocation, among many others.
Industry Leadership Awards
Since its inception, the i2Coalition has focused on leveraging the technological expertise of its membership to empower alliances with other like-minded stakeholders and ensure that an educated appreciation of the nuts and bolts of how the Internet works informs policy making. To recognize key members who have made significant contributions to these efforts, the Coalition is proud to present its Karl Zimmerman Internet Entrepreneurship award to Jon Berry, President and Owner of Green Olive Tree, and its Ron Yokubaitis Community Leadership Award to Tobias Satler, Founder and Author of CyberSec and former Executive at united-domains.
Jon Berry built Green Olive Tree in the early days of the commercial Internet, after serving in the United States Navy, where he was stationed at US Navy nuclear power plants for 20 years. As a managed web hosting service provider, Jon was not just the hosting provider of people’s websites, he was standing as a protector of their hopes and dreams while keeping their online businesses alive and helping them grow. Jon exemplifies the commitment to trust, responsibility, and service in our industry, knowing that the entire digital economy sits on our networks and in our data centers. He has also been a leader in eco-friendly hosting, has worked for a healthier environment, and was also one of the original 38 business leaders who came together as Founding Members to start i2Coalition.
Tobias Sattler, current Founder and Author of CyberSec and former executive at united-domains embodies the spirit of i2Coalition in its work to make the Internet a better, safer place. Sattler developed the popular industry websites https://basics.domains/ and https://mynext.events/ which the Coalition will, for years to come, use to aid its educational efforts to teach people how the Internet works and how to engage with our communities.
Additionally, the Coalition Fly-In featured a special guest appearance and address to the membership by YouTube sensation Julie Nolke, who went viral with a series of videos titled “Explaining the Pandemic to my Past Self.”
“As we celebrate the i2Coalition’s 10-year anniversary in 2022, we know our work is always evolving,” Dawson said. “The Internet infrastructure industry today faces a diverse set of challenges involving security, safety, privacy, and more. We face many of the same intermediary liability-focused challenges that we had when we started, particularly while engaging in complex issues such as Section 230 reform in the United States and the Digital Services Act in the EU. At the i2Coalition we are as excited as ever about the digital future, and look forward to continuing to be the voice for the multitudes of businesses that build the Internet.”
About the i2Coalition
The Internet Infrastructure Coalition (“i2Coalition”) ensures that those who build the infrastructure of the Internet have a voice in public policy. We are a leading voice for web hosting companies, data centers, domain registrars and registries, cloud infrastructure providers, managed services providers, and related tech. We protect innovation and the continued growth of the Internet’s infrastructure which is essential to the global economy. Our coalition launched at a significant time in our industry’s history. The genesis of the organization began in 2011 when many of the i2Coalition founding and charter members joined forces during the successful effort to prevent SOPA and PIPA from becoming United States law. After mobilizing to ensure the Internet’s free flow of information and commerce, we realized the ongoing need for an industry voice, founding formally in 2012. To learn more about the i2Coalition and explore membership, please visit i2Coalition.com.