Washington – A number of leading tech companies today released a list of surveillance reform principles. These principles include sensible limitations on government collection of information — including bulk collection, enhanced oversight, increased transparency, and international coordination aimed at avoiding conflicting laws across international borders. The principles also emphasize the importance of the free flow of information. The ability of data and communications to flow freely across international borders is a vital pillar of human rights.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) has been advocating surveillance reform for more than a decade and testified at a 2007 hearing calling for better checks and balances on government surveillance. Our member companies have helped us prepare to testify at a Senate Judiciary hearing on surveillance reform later this week.
The following can be attributed to CCIA President and CEO Ed Black:
“The surveillance reform principles laid out today are vital for 21st century communications and trade. We believe that leadership by the private sector, as demonstrated by these principles and these companies, is a vital part of finding global solutions in this area. We are seeing more than ever that the Internet is the world’s modern shipping lane, a key to global economic growth and the empowerment of billions. These principles will help preserve a more free, secure, resilient and less balkanized global information network.
“These principles are important for every government in the world to take into account when developing surveillance policy. They should also be considered in multilateral institutions like UNESCO and the Human Rights Council as they work on surveillance policy issues. We look forward to working with all branches of the United States government, with all institutions and states of the European Union, and with the international community via our Washington DC, Brussels, and Geneva teams.”