CCIA Welcomes NSA Surveillance Recommendations in Report To White House

BY Heather Greenfield
December 18, 2013

Washington – More steps to reform NSA surveillance are on the table today as the White House has released the report it received from the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies. The Computer & Communications Industry Association, which has advocated for surveillance reform for more than a decade including at a Senate Judiciary hearing last week, applauds the recommendations and urges the White House to take them into close consideration.

The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“It is heartening to see the clear recognition that it’s the government’s duty to protect individuals’ property and data from unreasonable search and seizure. The report emphasizes the need to weigh security, privacy and economic interests as part of a broader definition and consideration of our national security goals.

“Since the Internet is global, it was wise to recommend limits on collecting data on non-U.S. citizens. If international users lack basic privacy assurances, foreign competitors will supplant U.S. leadership in Internet innovation and digital commerce, thus undermining strategic economic and other security interests. Assurances such as these are vital to American companies’ success in foreign markets. Equally important is the United States’ credibility as a worldwide advocate for a communications tool that promotes democracy, communications, and access to business and educational opportunities. If we do not model the ideals of Internet privacy and freedom, some countries will use that perception to justify greater controls and censorship of the Internet.

The following can be attributed to Public Policy and Regulatory Counsel Ross Schulman:

“The recommendation to allow companies to provide aggregate information on the size and scope of the national security data requests they receive is welcomed news. This is something our industry has been requesting so that our customers can evaluate the safety of their information online.

“This report unequivocally calls for the NSA to cease undermining international encryption standards. This is a crucial step in ensuring the trust of the Internet and the global marketplace.

“While we’re also pleased to see the Review Group address limits on the storage of bulk metadata, forcing companies or any third party to store this type of data is not a viable solution. Limiting bulk surveillance would be an enormous step toward helping regain the trust of citizens around the world, but the recommendations unfortunately do not rule out the possibility of the practice, as they should.”

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