Washington — As we await this year’s State of the Union address, the Computer & Communications Industry Association is offering this update on what tech policy issues policymakers will focus on in the year ahead.

As the digital economy becomes the economy, countries pursuing growth will be considering measures from promoting internet freedom and high speed internet access to policies that enable innovators and innovation. The following are a few items CCIA is anticipating action on in the new year.  There are many key issues ahead, and this summary list and short descriptions don’t do justice to the challenging year ahead, but more info is available via our websites covering what CCIA has done and will be doing.

Broadband/Telecom

  • The FCC’s rollback of net neutrality protections is seriously flawed, and CCIA has strong grounds to appeal it. CCIA plans to be a litigant in the effort to continue protections against discrimination online for internet users and businesses.
  • Recently, a number of bills to promote broadband infrastructure have been introduced in the House and Senate. CCIA will be advocating for streamlining regulations to promote broadband deployment and 5G technologies in the US and Europe. CCIA will be speaking from its unique position as a trade association that represents both Internet Service Providers and companies that rely on Internet access.

Cross Border Data Flows/Encryption

  • The means through which governments lawfully access data stored in a global cloud will likely see significant legal and legislative developments in the U.S. and Europe. CCIA will be offering input  as Congress and the European Commission begin to lay the groundwork for solutions that will impact how law enforcement accesses data worldwide.
  • CCIA will continue to promote the benefits of encryption for the health and growth of the digital economy on both sides of the Atlantic, and will respond to any efforts to undermine the security and stability that people rely on to communicate and transact online.

Patent/Copyright Reforms

  • CCIA will continue advocating before federal courts and agencies when intellectual property rights are used in inappropriate or anti-competitive ways.  CCIA’s Patent Progress blog will continue publishing in-depth research and data on the evolving patent systems, and current litigation.

Trade:

  • As the Administration undertakes a comprehensive review of U.S. trade policy, CCIA looks forward to the opportunity to modernize U.S. trade agreements that will reflect the global digital economy and will eliminate barriers to digital trade. We will continue to offer recommendations as the U.S. renegotiates NAFTA.
  • We anticipate opportunities in 2018 to further remove digital trade barriers. These barriers  include restrictions on cross-border data flows, Internet censorship, inadequate intermediary liability protections, and imbalanced copyright. CCIA’s comments and testimony on digital trade were cited in the 2017 National Trade Estimates Report and the U.S. International Trade Commission’s 2017 Global Trade Report.

Competition:

  • CCIA will advocate for competitive markets in the USA and abroad, that foster innovation and contribute to economic growth by empowering small and medium enterprises and consumers.  

Update on CCIA projects:

Patent Progress blog

In 2017, CCIA’s patent reform project, Patent Progress,  hired a new patent counsel, Josh Landau. The blog increased readership and we actively participated in a number of court cases, as well as in matters at the Patent Office, in front of the International Trade Commission (ITC), and in Congress.  

DisCo blog

DisCo, CCIA’s blog about disruptive competition, celebrated 5 years and surpassed 800 posts in 2017. Posts covered topics relating to antitrust and competition, emerging technologies, privacy, and security, and attracted over 60,000 visits to the site.  

Springboard  

With a microsite and other outreach, CCIA’s new project launching this week will provide data, insights, and perspectives on the benefits that competition among leading tech services delivers for consumers, businesses, and communities — advancing ideas to keep tech empowering people.

For media inquiries, please contact: Heather Greenfield 202-256-5610

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