Security

Tech Giants Call For President Trump ‘Dialogue’ And Support For Encryption

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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Facebook, Amazon, Google and others call on the US president-elect to support encrypted communications, net neutrality

The Internet Association, a trade group that represents Facebook, Amazon, Google and other prominent high-tech companies, has sent US president-elect Donald Trump a letter outlining its policy priorities, including some that are likely to conflict with those of the Trump administration, such as support for encrypted communications and network neutrality.

The 10-page letter, published on Monday, is a step toward bringing relations with Trump onto an even keel, following widespread opposition to him in IT business circles during the campaign.

‘Dialogue’

data encryption“The internet industry looks forward to engaging in an open and productive dialogue,” wrote Internet Association president Michael Beckerman in the letter. “The Internet represents the best of American innovation, freedom and ingenuity… Nowhere was this more apparent than your use of the Internet to connect with, and energise voters throughout the campaign.”

The group, whose other members include Uber, Twitter and Airbnb, outlined some policy preferences that may be in line with those of Trump, such as pushing for international trade and information-sharing rules that promote the free flow of data across borders.

European regulators have recently sought to strengthen controls on how data on their citizens is used by US companies.

Other points, such as support for encrypted communications, upholding reforms limiting US government surveillance programmes and maintaining net neutrality rules, are likely to conflict with the Trump presidency.

Encryption debate

Trump has said tech companies should be obliged install back-doors making communications accessible to law enforcement, and during the campaign he criticised Apple over its refusal to help US justice officials gain access to an encrypted iPhone connected to a high-profile investigation.

The Internet Association supported the Obama administration’s net neutrality rules over Republican opposition and its letter asked Trump to maintain this legislation.

The letter calls for programmes to bring highly skilled workers into the US, something that may not go against Trump’s immigration stance which during the campaign focused mainly on border security and deporting undocumented individuals.

In a March debate Trump said he was “softening the position (on immigration) because we need to have talented people in this country”.

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