When U.S. Congress was gearing up to pass SOPA, Silicon Valley was pulling at its hair, trying hard to lobby the congressmen to think otherwise. Those efforts pretty much failed and the lawmakers were persuaded only when the likes of Wikipedia went on a blanket black-out.
However, the tech giants took a good lesson from it – that they need to expand their influence in Washington and be in a better position to lobby on web-related issues such as online piracy, user privacy, digital security etc.
As if to turn this realization into something tangible, web giants such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, eBay and others have now come together to launch a new lobbying group, the Internet Association. The group is touting itself to be the ‘unified voice of the internet economy.’
It is good to see that the Silicon Valley has grown wise over the years and has realized that it can’t win votes in the U.S. Congress by creating innovation in technology. That may win the hearts of the consumers but the lawmakers will still require much more than that. Let’s hope that this new collaboration tends to Congress in a more effective manner and remains truly representative of the real stakeholders, i.e. the web giants as well as the users.