May 20, 2015

WASHINGTON – Today the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), the global voice for the tech sector, announced it will key vote the Senate’s consideration of a bipartisan surveillance reform bill that was already passed by a strong vote in the House of Representatives. Citing the importance of reforming U.S. surveillance laws to restore eroded trust in the U.S. government and technology sector, ITI signaled its support for H.R. 2048, the USA Freedom Act, in a letter addressed to Senate leaders.

ITI is the only tech trade group to score votes that are key priorities for the technology industry. The following is text of the letter announcing the tech organization’s intention to key vote the legislation:

May 20, 2015

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Harry Reid
Democratic Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Re: H.R. 2048, Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping,
Dragnet-collection, and Online Monitoring (USA Freedom) Act

Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Democratic Leader Reid:

On behalf of the 60 members of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), I write to express our strong support for H.R. 2048, the USA Freedom Act. Given the importance of surveillance reform to the high-tech community, we will consider scoring votes in support of final passage of the USA Freedom
Act in our 114th Congressional Voting Guide.

Senate passage of H.R. 2048 would be a vital step in addressing public concerns foreign and domestic about surveillance programs in the U.S. The surveillance revelations of the last 2 years have had a corrosive impact on the public’s trust in our government and on perceptions of the independence of U.S. technology companies. Without action, not only are American jobs at risk, so is the open and borderless Internet upon which our innovation economy relies. The USA Freedom Act is a meaningful surveillance reform effort that will aid the rebuilding of the public’s trust not only in the technology sector but also in the U.S. government by effectively ending indiscriminate bulk collection and allowing companies to be more transparent about the orders they receive.

We urge the Senate to move forward on the reforms contained in the USA Freedom Act without delay in
order to restore the public’s trust in our sector, protect the open and borderless internet, and ensure the continued vitality of our innovation economy and the growth it creates here in the U.S. We also urge the Senate to refrain from adopting harmful policies such as a data retention mandate during the USA Freedom Act debate. Such amendments would threaten the path of the USA Freedom Act to final law.

Because it is critical that the USA Freedom Act be free of harmful amendments, we will consider scoring votes against any such amendments in our 114th Congressional Voting Guide.

On behalf of ITI’s member companies, I thank you for your leadership and continued bipartisan efforts on this critical issue.

Sincerely,
Dean Garfield
President and CEO

cc: Members of the Senate

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About ITI. The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) is the global voice of the tech sector. As the premier advocacy and policy organization for the world’s leading innovation companies, ITI navigates the relationships between policymakers, companies, and non-governmental organizations, providing creative solutions that advance the development and use of technology around the world. Visit www.itic.org to learn more. Follow us on Twitter for the latest ITI news @ITI_TechTweets.

Public Policy Tags: Data & Privacy, Surveillance Reform