Tech industry asks Donald Trump to support strong encryption, immigration reform

A group composed of Google, Facebook and other large internet companies sent an open letter to President-elect Donald Trump this week that outlined its policy goals on topics ranging from digital encryption and immigration to surveillance reform and net neutrality.

The Internet Association, a trade group who also lists the likes of Amazon and Uber among its 40 members, offered the insight in a 12-page “roadmap of key policy areas” sent Monday to the Trump-Pence Transition Team as the president-elect and his running mate prepare to enter the White House in hardly two months’ time.

“We look forward to working closely with the Trump administration along with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to implement policies that promote innovation and cement the internet’s role as a driver of economic and social progress for future generations,” Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman said in an accompanying statement. “Internet companies are a key component for freedom and economic growth at home and abroad. The story of this industry embodies the spirit of free enterprise.”

The letter goes on to list policy priorities on an array of tech-related topics, including at least a couple that contrast with pre-election statements made while the Republican nominee was still campaigning, particularly with regards to encryption and immigration.

“Strong encryption is critical to national and individual security. Encryption is key to national defense, and it also protects our nation’s financial system and critical infrastructure. It also protects users from repressive governments looking to stifle speech and democracy, and it shields users from nefarious actors seeking to steal their sensitive data. Laws that require companies to engineer vulnerabilities into products and services harm personal privacy and endanger national security.

“Support for strong encryption makes America more secure,” the Internet Associate said in its letter.

By Andrew Blake for The Washington Times
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