ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® honored Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and The Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein for their support of technology innovation last night at the eighth annual Digital Patriots® Dinner. In other event news, CES on the Hill showcased the innovative technologies at the center of today’s policy debates Tuesday evening.
CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro kicked off the Digital Patriots Dinner with opening remarks addressing the state of the consumer technology industry. He applauded Congress and President Barack Obama for obtaining new spectrum for wireless broadband, for passage of the Columbia, Panama and South Korea Free Trade Agreements, for preserving innovation on the Internet, and for enacting the JOBS Act. He also spoke of the success of CEA’s Innovation Movement, which now has more than 200,000 members, “These are Americans who believe innovation is the key to reviving our economy and creating new jobs,” said Shapiro.
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), along with Carlyle Group managing director and D.C. philanthropist David Rubenstein, were honored for their role in advancing consumer technology. Shapiro said these three honorees “are tenacious leaders willing to fight the status quo to do what is right for our country. They understand the important role that entrepreneurship plays in generating jobs and keeping our country strong.”
Senator Wyden was recognized as a Digital Patriot for his work to protect innovation in America while securing an open, accessible Internet. Regarding the defeat of the Protect IP Act (PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), harmful intellectual property legislation that was resoundingly defeated earlier this year, Senator Wyden said “The fight for the open Internet and the networks that empower it was a group effort.” He added that innovation is a crucial component of America. The message to Congress, Senator Wyden concluded, was “don’t mess with the Internet.”
Representative Chaffetz fought to ensure that hearings on SOPA and PIPA included input from technology experts who could speak to the true harm to the Internet of those bills. He accepted his Digital Patriots award remarking “We need to understand what Internet and policy do...Please, bring in the nerds!” He commented on how so few people are engaged and involved in Congress and added “You take an industry like this that represents what’s right with America and allow it to thrive.” Representative Chaffetz concluded “At the end of the day, the United States of America is still the greatest place on earth.”
David Rubenstein, well-known for his dedication to philanthropy, was recognized as a Digital Patriot for his lasting contributions to society and his protection of technology. He cited the key phrase from the U.S. Constitution, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as the defining principle of what this country is all about as he accepted his award. “These rights are so essential. They are great rights embodied in the Magna Carta that are also contained in our constitution,” said Rubenstein. He added “Philanthropy means ‘love other people.’ I encourage all of you to do what you can, with whatever resources you have, to make the world a better place.”
The proceeds from the Digital Patriots Dinner are being donated to the Ron Brown Scholar Program. Named for the late Secretary of Commerce, and inspired by his dedication to public service, the Ron Brown Scholar Program provides scholarships and support for bright but economically-challenged African American high school students seeking higher education.
More, CES on the Hill, which took place Tuesday at the Rayburn House Office Building, showcased the future of broadcasting, mobile DTV and more from exhibitors including; Audiovox, Best Buy, desktopFab, DISH Network, Ford, Google, HTC, Intel, Klear Screen, LG, Livio Radio, Mobileye, Motorola, Open Mobile Video Coalition, Panasonic, Pandora, Qualcomm, Research in Motion, Samsung, Sony, Startup America Partnership, Syncbak and Verizon. Many of the products showcased to the hundreds of attendees demonstrated the top policy issues of importance to innovation and technology such as accessibility, intellectual property protection, sustainability, energy efficiency and safe driving.
Click here for highlights from CES on the Hill.
Photos from CES on the Hill and the Digital Patriots Dinner, as well as tribute videos to Senator Wyden, Representative Chaffetz and David Rubenstein are available in the From the Newsroom section of CE.org.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $195 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online at www.CE.org, www.DeclareInnovation.com and through social media: http://facebook.com/CEAfeed, http://twitter.com/ceafeed, http://blog.ce.org/.
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