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Why the iPhone Economy Is Drawing Silicon Valley Deeper Into Washington Politics

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, September 14 2012

An expected 'spectrum crunch' is spurring Silicon Valley companies to look to Washington for answers.

As management of the country's wireless spectrum becomes more important to business, it's becoming more important in policy as well. And it's attracting the interest of the growing political constituency inside Silicon Valley as efforts continue to change the policies that undergird the way we run our wireless networks to accommodate the explosion in wireless traffic.

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In an Election-Year Push, Tech Entrepreneurs Lobby Congress for Tax Breaks and Immigration Changes

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, June 6 2012

Engine Advocacy in San Francisco is asking its 10,000 list members to call their members of Congress to support the StartUp Act

A bipartisan group of House members led by Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) introduced a new bill earlier this week that would address the technology industry's long-time demand for more access to high-skilled foreign labor and tax breaks that would boost startup investments, research, and development.

These are things that people in Silicon Valley have wanted for years. What's different this year is that it's an election year in a dismal economy. It also doesn't hurt that entrepreneurs and deep-pocketed venture capitalists have found themselves more and more frequently in the company of candidates looking to court their campaign donations and lawmakers sympathetic to their concerns. Tech companies have already scored wins in Washington D.C. this year in the fierce debate over copyright policy and with the passage of the JOBS Act earlier this year.

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House Intelligence Committee Restructures Cybersecurity Bill 'CISPA:' Drops Language On Intellectual Property

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, April 13 2012

The House Intelligence Committee moved to address some of the concerns voiced by civil liberties advocates and a group representing Silicon Valley startups this week and dropped some of the language that the groups had ... Read More

With Newfound Influence, Will Internet Organizers Hack Politics As Usual?

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, January 30 2012

MPAA Chief Chris Dodd should perhaps talk to the public via Reddit, rather than the "tech industry." Photo: Flickr/Wil Wheaton

The recent mass protests both online and off against anti-piracy legislation moving through Congress provided a tantalizing hint of the possibilities that can emerge when the powerful companies of Silicon Valley combine forces with grassroots organizers empowered with the tools of the web. Individuals from the usually disparate worlds of non-profits, venture capital, politics and programming and elsewhere united briefly for one day, took direction from more experienced activists and used the tools at their disposal to pull whatever levers they could to get their message across to legislators. Will the extraordinary success of the protests against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) change the one industry that has resisted the disruptive influence of the internet, the industry of lobbyists on K-Street? Or will the moment pass — to be regarded in history as quirky exception to the general rule in which lobbyists almost always emerge triumphant? Read More