Forget that Internet community grassroots strategy that took the Hill by storm in January and halted the advance of anti-piracy legislation in Congress. Internet giants like Google and Facebook are about to go mainstream with an association working 24/7 to protect their interests in Washington.
The Internet Association is set to launch in September, but it is keeping many of the details of the organization—such as the identities of member companies and the issues it will focus on—hush hush, except for one.
Michael Beckerman today was named the IA's first president and CEO. Beckerman brings to the budding association a lot of Hill chops, most recently serving as deputy staff director of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees telecommunications and Internet policy. He also served as chairman Fred Upton's (R-Mich.) chief policy advisor.
"There was never a single voice speaking for the Internet," Beckerman said in an interview with Adweek. "We want to be a permanent fixture."
The Internet community's biggest names are expected to be among the association's first members, including Google, Facebook, eBay and Amazon.
No doubt issues such as piracy, which rallied the Internet in January, privacy and preserving "an open, innovative and free Internet" (as stated on the association's website) will be among IA's top concerns.
"I hope more regulation is not a trend," Beckerman said. "One of the reasons the Internet is so innovative is the current architecture. We want to make sure that creativity isn't blocked by shortsighted legislation."