40 tech companies send letter detailing their policy priorities to President-elect Trump

Donald Trump
Gage Skidmore/Flickr
A coalition of 40 companies, called the Internet Association, have sent President-elect Donald Trump a 12-page letter detailing a road map and policies for his administration to consider.

The policies highlight key areas the association, which includes companies like Facebook and Google, believe Trump should focus on in regard to the internet sector. Some of them include protecting and maintaining intermediary liability laws, modernizing the U.S. Copyright Office, ensuring an open internet, protecting strong encryption, immigration reform, and more.

“Businesses of all sizes are able to connect with new customers at the touch of a button and compete on a global scale in ways impossible just a decade ago,” writes Michael Beckerman, president of the Internet Association. “Nowhere was this more apparent than your use of the internet to connect with and energize voters throughout the campaign. The internet industry looks forward to working with you on policies that encourage this kind of growth, innovation, and consumer choice.”

But while some priorities, like putting pressure on Europe to lower its barriers for U.S. companies to innovate, line up with Trump’s policies, others are unlikely to make the president-elect budge.

“[Encryption] 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,” according to the letter. “Laws that require companies to engineer vulnerabilities into products and services harm personal privacy and endanger national security.”

This undoubtedly refers to early 2016, when FBI Director James Comey demanded Apple build a backdoor into the iPhone to allow law enforcement the ability to access data from the iPhone of one of the shooters in a December 2015 attack in San Bernardino, California, that left 14 dead . At the time, Trump egged people to boycott the Cupertino, California, company’s products for not complying with the FBI.

As Reuters points out, Trump has been vocal about his opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership — a trade agreement that many in Silicon Valley supported. It’s unlikely the TPP will pass given the number of senators coming out against it. The TPP was not mentioned in the letter.

“The internet industry looks forward to engaging in an open and productive dialogue,” Beckerman said.

You can read the full letter here.


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