WASHINGTON – With a procedural vote scheduled for tonight in the U.S. Senate to decide whether lawmakers will debate the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act (S.2685) introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), the global voice of the tech industry which represents 60 of the world’s leading innovation companies, announced it will key vote final passage of the bill given the importance of surveillance reform to the high-tech community. The following is text of the letter addressed to the Leadership of the Senate announcing the tech organization’s intention to key vote the legislation:
November 18, 2014The Honorable Harry Reid The Honorable Mitch McConnellMajority Leader Republican LeaderUnited States Senate United States SenateWashington, DC 20510 Washington, DC 20510
Re: S. 2685, the Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring (USA FREEDOM) Act of 2014
Dear Majority Leader Reid and Republican Leader McConnell:
On behalf of the members of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), I write to express our strong support for S. 2685, the USA FREEDOM Act. Senate passage of S. 2685 would be a vital step in addressing public concerns – foreign and domestic – about surveillance programs in the U.S. Recent U.S. surveillance revelations 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. By effectively ending bulk collection and allowing companies to be more transparent about the orders they receive, we can ensure that consumer confidence is restored.
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 tech 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. 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 113th Congressional Voting Guide.
ITI is the global voice for the tech industry. We are the premier advocacy and policy organization for 60 of the world’s leading information and communications technology (ICT) companies developing innovations in fields that include computer hardware and software, internet services, wireless networking, and ICT-enabled products and services. On behalf of ITI’s member companies, I thank you for your leadership and continued bipartisan efforts on this critical issue.
President and CEO
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About ITI. The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) is 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 and other alerts: @ITI_TechTweets