There’s no question that the revelations about U.S. government data collection and surveillance programs threaten the innovative vitality of the global digital economy, which means the restoration of public trust both in the U.S. government and the tech community is critical. At ITI, we have been working with the Obama Administration and leading members of Congress, and offering our recommendations on how privacy and civil liberties can be better addressed in U.S. intelligence programs. In a series of three submissions (August 20, October 3, October 24) ITI offered specific policy proposals that include greater transparency into these programs.
Today, with the introduction of the USA Freedom Act, the call for greater transparency is made loud and clear. We applaud the bill’s inclusion of increased transparency provisions that would enable companies to disclose the number and scope of the requests it receives from the U.S. government. The bill also includes provisions that would increase transparency into the FISA court, and mechanisms designed to enable civil liberty concerns to be addressed during court proceedings.
The introduction of the USA Freedom Act is an important step toward restoring the public trust and preventing short-sighted barriers to innovation and global commerce. At a time when many U.S. tech companies are experiencing troubling repercussions in the global marketplace, we can’t afford to sit this one out.
ITI looks forward to continuing to engage with the Obama Administration, Members of Congress and other stakeholders to enact meaningful reforms of these important issues.