May 12, 2015

WASHINGTON – Today the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), the global voice for the technology sector's leading companies, announced it will key vote final passage of the bipartisan surveillance reform bill being considered this week by 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 congressional leaders. This latest letter of support builds upon yesterday’s call by ITI and several other well respected technology industry voices for the House to pass the legislation.

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:

The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker of the House
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Democratic Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

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

Dear Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi:

On behalf of the 60 members of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI),1 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.

As a result of the national security revelations that began two years ago, U.S. technology companies have witnessed a significant erosion of user trust in their products and services. Growing concern about the level of access the U.S. government has to user-generated data held by technology companies has led users to opt for the products and services of competitors and prompted foreign governments to propose or implement reactionary policies that threaten the fabric of the borderless internet by disrupting data flows, which are critical to the global economy.

Restoring user trust is essential to maintaining the U.S. technology sector’s global competitiveness, and passage of H.R. 2048 in the House of Representatives would mark a vital step in restoring that trust. The USA Freedom Act, approved by a bipartisan vote of the House Judiciary Committee on April 30th, would strengthen privacy protections by ending the indiscriminate collection of bulk data and creating a strong transparency framework to report national security requests.

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. With 21 days until the sunset of certain national security authorities, we urge you to support the USA Freedom Act.

cc: Members of the U.S. House of Representatives

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Public Policy Tags: Data & Privacy, Surveillance Reform