Innovation in the Crosshairs as California Again Targets Ride-Sharing

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Imagine if the Florida legislature spent the past 18 months cracking down on orange growers, or if Vermont imposed tough restrictions on maple syrup makers. If those scenarios seem strangely self-destructive, then you have a good sense of how ridiculous California’s growing hostility towards the Internet innovation economy seems to us.

If we didn’t know better, we’d have to assume that California lawmakers want to extinguish the innovative industry that makes the state the envy of the world in the Internet era. Read more

Spain cuts the fabric of the Internet with its new tax

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The Internet is a collection of different sites interwoven together through “links.”  Now imagine an Internet without links.  Can’t do it, can you?  That’s because the web depends on interconnectivity of content – it is the thread that makes up the fabric of the internet.  But some aggressive European countries seeking to wangle in and wrangle money from the online world want to limit online links. 

We all know about the new European requirement for search engines to remove links – but now Spain wants search engines to pay for just displaying links.

READ MORE at The Hill

Death and Social Media: Don’t Strip Delaware Citizens of their Privacy

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bill awaiting Governor Markell’s signature would override your privacy choices about what happens to your online accounts when you die.

Lawmakers across the country are increasingly confronting the question of what happens to Americans’ digital lives when they die. It’s a question worth careful consideration. Unfortunately for Delaware internet users, lawmakers in Dover have reached the wrong answer.

The Delaware legislation forces your email providers and online services to expose our personal communications when we die.  For many of us this is no big deal.  But consider the personal, sensitive, and confidential communications of spouses, doctors, psychiatrists, or addiction counselors. Read more

The Real Motivation Behind the Attack on Ride Sharing

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While ride-sharing technologies, such as Uber and Lyft, are creating never-before-achieved efficiencies in transportation, not everyone is celebrating those achievements.

Some have taken the rise of sharing-economy business models as a signal to retrench, protect the status quo, stifle innovation and, in some cases, turn a tidy profit by cracking down on ride-sharing services in state legislatures and insurance commissions.

Fortunately, members of the national media are increasingly savvy to this tactic and what drives it. This week, Joe Garofoli of the San Francisco Chronicle shed some light on the real motivation for this attack on the ground-breaking technology: Read more

Arkansas Governor and AG’s Photography Law Out-of-Sync with Their Priorities

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Over the past several years, law enforcement has utilized new cutting-edge technologies to apprehend the most violent of criminals – murders, rapists and abductors. One such innovation, known as license plate recognition (LPR), takes photographs of license plates and logs their time and location, creating a searchable database that has allowed police to reduce investigation times and get felons off the streets.

However, a new law recently signed by Governor Mike Beebe, could put an end to LPR use in Arkansas, hamstringing law enforcement by limiting the use of a critical crime-fighting tool that helped solve thousands of violent crime cases across the country.

READ MORE at North Little Rock Times

Want to Make a Difference in Internet Governance? Just Show Up

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It was 20 years earlier than ICANN, and 25 years ahead of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) that Woody Allen said “80 percent of life is just showing up,” but he could have just as easily been talking about our current multistakeholder policy situation.

The emergence of powerful multistakeholder governance and engagement models has fundamentally changed the way we do Internet policy, and the roles that companies, organizations and individuals play in the process. The days when business, for instance, could sit on the sidelines and intercede only when policy reached an inflection point, are long gone.

To succeed in today’s landscape, industry has to show up early, often, and in force. The IGF-USA takes place in Washington DC July 16th, and my message to business colleagues can be described in two words: Show up.

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