WASHINGTON – Several of the leading organizations representing the technology industry joined together today in calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to pass bipartisan legislation to reform the nation’s surveillance laws. In a joint letter of support for H.R. 2048, the USA Freedom Act, the technology coalition noted reforms are critical to rebuilding the essential element of public trust, not only in the technology sector but also in the U.S. government in the wake of the Snowden revelations.
The letter, addressed to Speaker of the House John Boehner and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, was sent by BSA | The Software Alliance; the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA); the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI); the Internet Association (IA); Reform Government Surveillance (RGS); the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA); and TechNet.
The letter, text of which is included below, can be viewed by clicking here:
May 11, 2015
The Honorable John Boehner
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
H-204, The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Speaker Boehner and Democratic Leader Pelosi:
We, the undersigned technology associations and groups, write to express our strong support for H.R 2048, the USA Freedom Act, as reported by the House Judiciary Committee on April 30th by a vote of 25 to two.
Public trust in the technology sector is critical, and that trust has declined measurably among both U.S. citizens and citizens of our foreign allies since the revelations regarding the U.S. surveillance programs began 2 years ago. As a result of increasing concern about the level of access the U.S. government has to user-generated data held by technology companies, many domestic and foreign users have turned to foreign technology providers while, simultaneously, foreign jurisdictions have implemented reactionary policies that threaten the fabric of the borderless internet.
The USA Freedom Act as introduced in the House and Senate on April 28th offers an effective balance that both protects privacy and provides the necessary tools for national security, and we congratulate those who participated in the bipartisan, bicameral effort that produced the legislative text. Critically, the bill ends the indiscriminate collection of bulk data, avoids data retention mandates, and creates a strong transparency framework for both government and private companies to report national security requests.
Meaningful surveillance reform is vital to rebuilding the essential element of trust not only in the technology sector but also in the U.S. government. With 21 days remaining until the sunset of certain national security authorities, we urge you to swiftly move to consider and pass the USA Freedom Act without harmful amendments.
BSA | The Software Alliance • Computer & Communications Industry Association
Information Technology Industry Council • Internet Association
Reform Government Surveillance • Software & Information Industry Association • TechNet
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About BSA: BSA | The Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 60 countries around the world, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.
About CCIA: CCIA is an international, nonprofit association representing a broad cross section of computer, communications and Internet industry firms. CCIA remains dedicated, as it has for over 40 years, to promoting innovation and preserving full, fair and open competition throughout our industry. Our members employ more than 600,000 workers and generate annual revenues in excess of $465 billion. For more, please go to: www.ccianet.org
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 http://www.itic.org/to learn more. Follow us on Twitter for the latest ITI news and other alerts: @ITI_TechTweets
About Internet Association: The Internet Association, the unified voice of the Internet economy, represents the interests of the leading Internet companies including Airbnb, Amazon, AOL, Auction.com, Coinbase, eBay, Etsy, Expedia, Facebook, Fanduel, Gilt, Google, Groupon, IAC, Intuit, LinkedIn, Lyft, Monster Worldwide, Netflix, Pandora, Practice Fusion, Rackspace, reddit, Salesforce.com, Sidecar, SurveyMonkey, TripAdvisor, Twitter, Uber Technologies, Inc., Yelp, Yahoo!, and Zynga. The Internet Association is dedicated to advancing public policy solutions to strengthen and protect Internet freedom, foster innovation and economic growth, and empower users. www.InternetAssociation.org.
About RGS: Reform Government Surveillance is a coalition of nine companies that believe the world’s governments must address the practices and laws regulating government surveillance of individuals and access to their information. Consistent with established global norms of free expression and privacy and with the goals of ensuring that government law enforcement and intelligence efforts are rule-bound, narrowly tailored, transparent, and subject to oversight, we set forth a set of principles, found at ReformGovernmentSurveillance.com, for governments to endorse.
About SIIA: SIIA is the leading association representing the software and digital content industries. SIIA represents approximately 800 member companies worldwide that develop software and digital information content. SIIA provides global services in government relations, business development, corporate education and intellectual property protection to the leading companies that are setting the pace for the digital age. For more information, visit www.siia.net.
About TechNet: TechNet is the national, bipartisan network of technology CEOs and senior executives that promotes the growth of the innovation economy by advocating a targeted policy agenda at the federal and 50-state level. TechNet’s diverse membership includes dynamic startups to the most iconic companies on the planet and represents more than two million employees in the fields of information technology, biotechnology, green tech, e-commerce, venture capital and finance. TechNet has offices in Washington, D.C., Silicon Valley, Sacramento, Seattle, Boston and Austin; visit www.technet.org.