You might think that going to Washington, D.C. and speaking with government officials about the Internet would be boring, but, let me assure you, that is not that case. Last week, representatives from the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition) showed up in force for Internet Education Day to discuss topics that impact our businesses and to discuss key issues with senators, legislators, and staff members.
Each meeting was unique in nature and I want to spend a few minutes sharing some highlights from the week’s events.
The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) was one of the main topics that we discussed. The ECPA was a forward-thinking statute when it was enacted in 1986. It specified standards for law enforcement access to electronic communications and associated data, affording important privacy protections to subscribers of emerging wireless and Internet technologies.
The i2Coalition supports reform to help provide clear paths to privacy and protection for service providers. You also can further this cause in the following two ways:
- Educate yourself
Check out ECPA Reform: Why Now? by the Digital Due Process Coalition.
- Spread the word
Use this handy application to Promote America’s Innovation.
In related news, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) each received the i2Coalition’s “Champion of Internet Innovation” award. Both have been extremely resourceful and supporters of our cause.
I, personally, had some key experiences during the week’s events. We met with Noah Phillips, Chief Counsel to Senator John Cornyn at the Senate Judiciary Committee, and spent time getting insight into our issues. As always, Noah and his team were very informative and provided the i2Coalition with wisdom and instruction on navigating Capitol Hill.
Our last meeting was with Congressman Blake Farenthold (R-TX) and we spent about 30 minutes talking about technology. He was very insightful and was the first politician to be able to describe and understand what cPanel does and who uses it.
Countless members of the i2Coalition spent most of the week moving quickly to meetings, events, and discussions with this nation’s government officials. Representatives from Rackspace, EIG, Parallels, LeaseWeb, Firehost, Gandi, ServInt, Hedgehog Hosting, Cheval Capital, and TechAssets as well as W. David Snead allocated this time, despite their busy schedules, to come teach those that shape policy and reform. If you run into one of these companies, be sure to pay if forward and thank them for their devotion.
Food for thought:
Make sure to read i2Coalition Chairman and Co-Founder Christian Dawson’s commentary on Why We Fight for Internet Freedom.