October 29, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.…The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), which represents 54 of the world’s most innovative and dynamic companies, commends Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) on the introduction of the USA Freedom Act.

“The introduction of the USA Freedom Act is a vital and positive step forward in establishing a net set of policies to govern how the federal government collects data and the tech industry’s role in complying with government information requests.  The tech industry’s goals in this process are clear: to better address civil liberties while keeping doors open to job-creating innovation in the digital economy,” said ITI President and CEO Dean Garfield.

 “Transparency is an essential element in restoring confidence in the ability of governments and stakeholders to ensure economic opportunity, security, and privacy.   Thus, we applaud the inclusion of increased transparency provisions in the legislation that enable companies to disclose the number and scope of the requests it receives from the U.S. government. As well, reforms to the FISA court structure and the availability of the court’s decisions will give the public greater confidence in the FISA court’s legal process.”

“We also appreciate efforts to clarify and achieve greater certainty surrounding the government’s authority pursuant to Section 215 of the Patriot Act.”

“The introduction of the USA Freedom Act marks an important step to increase greater public awareness about the role of surveillance programs in the US at a time when many U.S. tech companies are experiencing troubling repercussions in a global marketplace.  Several of our major trading partners are now considering punitive and counterproductive measures that would unravel the global economy by forcing companies wanting to operate within these foreign borders to house operations there or restrict the transfer of data outside their jurisdiction.“

“It is imperative that Congress and the Administration work together to implement reforms that will regain the public trust and strengthen the global digital economy, which will in turn drive job creation and innovation at home and around the world.”

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 itic.org to learn more. 

Contact: Amy Weiss, amy@weisspublicaffairs.com 202-203-0448