May 13, 2015

WASHINGTON – The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), the global voice for the tech sector’s leading companies, issued the following statement from President and CEO Dean Garfield encouraging Senators to pass surveillance reforms following a strong vote in the House of Representatives to pass H.R. 2048, the bipartisan USA Freedom Act. ITI is the only tech trade group to score votes that are key priorities for the technology industry and indicated in a letter sent to House lawmakers earlier this week it considered the USA Freedom Act a key vote:

"There are few things that Washington agrees upon, but the need to reform the nation’s surveillance laws has emerged as an issue that has united both Congressional Republicans and Democrats, and even Congress and the White House. The tech industry has seen users’ trust shaken as a result of the national security revelations that began two years ago. The reforms contained in the USA Freedom Act will help restore consumers’ trust in the privacy of the personal information stored and transmitted by the technology we use in our daily lives. This bill ends the indiscriminate bulk collection of data, and brings much needed transparency for companies to report the number of requests they receive by the government to access data. Top officials from law enforcement and the intelligence community also support the measure saying it will ensure they have the tools needed to keep our nation safe.”

“The reforms passed by the House today reflect the public sentiment to create guideposts for how the government may utilize its surveillance capabilities. We encourage the Senate to act and swiftly pass similar legislation.”

Earlier this week, several leading tech industry groups, including ITI, sent a letter to members of the House of Representatives encouraging lawmakers to enact needed surveillance reforms. Reforming the nation’s surveillance authorities is one of tech’s top agenda items and Garfield testified on the need for reforms last year before committees in the House and Senate.

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Public Policy Tags: Data & Privacy, Surveillance Reform