Political lobbying is often a mixed bag at best. Still, there's a cautious amount of optimism surrounding the Internet Association, a soon-to-start lobbying group that plans to advocate for an "open, innovative and free" internet among US politicians. The unsurprising (if well-intentioned) aim is to prevent another SOPA or PIPA with more formal opposition than even the Internet Defense League can manage. Who'll be pulling the strings is nebulous -- officially, the Association will only say that former Congressional staff director Michael Beckerman is at the helm until a formal September 19th launch. That internet openness must extend to some very leaky representatives, however, as the National Journal, AFP and Reuters all claim that Amazon, eBay, Facebook and Google are charter members. None of them are talking on the record; we certainly wouldn't be shocked if the roster is real, knowing how much Google and other partners have fought takedown laws that would bypass much of the normal legal system. We're hoping that whatever manifests a genuinely rational counterbalance to media and telecom influences that often aren't very interested in protecting internet-only business models or due process.