Internet Association struggling to manage the competing interests of the companies it represents
Silicon Valley's leading lobby, the Internet Association, is struggling to manage the competing interests of the companies it represents just as the industry faces a tide of bipartisan anger. Lobbying hasn't been working for tech for a while because too many firms are working at cross purposes. "A trade association can only do what its members tell it to do," said one person familiar with IA's work. "Facebook begging to be regulated puts the smaller companies in a bad position. It makes it hard for any organization that contains those two constituencies to be effective." IA faces several challenges specific to the organization: a leadership vacuum, insufficient funds, and disengaged members. "The Internet Association is an organization in transition, but despite the headwinds we faced in 2020, we have continued to evolve," including by retaining and recruiting subject-matter experts, said Jon Berroya, IA's interim CEO, and former Headlines intern at the Benton Institute.
The fractured tech lobby's uphill battles