Tech Trade Groups Urge White House to Review Data Collection Programs Print E-mail
Written by Chelsey Drysdale   
Thursday, 03 October 2013 16:12

WASHINGTON, DC – The reports outlining the US government’s data collection and surveillance programs are having global economic and policy ramifications, and these concerns must be addressed. That’s the view from two technology business organizations, expressed in a letter sent today to the White House’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology.

The Software Information Industry Association and the Information Technology Industry Council are urging the White House review group, appointed by President Obama in August, to take a hard look at how the federal government deploys data collection tools, while respecting individuals’ privacy and civil rights, and not further jeopardizing US innovation and economic growth.

In their letter, the organizations offered concrete ideas for the oversight group to consider, based on three principles: economic security and national security are deeply connected; security can be advanced in a privacy-protective manner; and, restoring trust, both domestically and internationally, must be a driving force for the review group’s work.

Policy prescriptions put forward by SIIA and ITI include greater transparency into the data requests being made by the federal government of private companies; increased oversight of government data collection programs, and use technology to protect privacy, not exploit loopholes.

Without such actions, SIIA and ITI fear the international repercussions for the US government and US companies operating overseas will be significant.

“Global customer and policy responses from a number of governments demonstrate that the current perceptions of US surveillance practices are putting US businesses at a competitive disadvantage in international markets. The Administration’s responses to date are further undermining public trust, and are accelerating the push for forced localization and other onerous policies that have the potential to balkanize open platforms, including the Internet, that are key to continued transformative innovations and global commerce,” the letter from the SIIA and the ITIC said.

“A number of steps should be taken by the US government to limit the negative impact of the recent disclosures and the US response.  The measures we outline would promote an appropriate culture of transparency surrounding the government’s intelligence-gathering programs – without national security risks. Indeed, promoting appropriate transparency surrounding intelligence-gathering is not a goal limited to the US; it should be pursued internationally,” the associations said.





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