Silicon Valley is finally starting to pay more attention to Washington. In recent years, proposals for new anti-piracy laws and Internet privacy and open-access policies have caused many companies to fatten their lobbying budgets and seek a greater voice at the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission and Capitol Hill.
That will continue, even as a new set of regulators comes in for President Obama’s second term. Internet attorney Markham Erickson was one of the handful of people the FCC chairman pulled together in marathon negotiations in 2010 over net neutrality rules. Those rules created a framework for how Internet service providers host content and services on their networks. Erickson, a partner at the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson, also rallied tech titans to protest a now-defeated bill known as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). He represents Web giants Google and Netflix and media firms that include Bloomberg and start-ups such as Aereo.
He talked with The Washington Post about the big issues he anticipates in Web and communications over the next year. The conversation was edited for length and clarity:
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