Tech giants, Chamber of Commerce back Judicial Redress Act

Tech giants, Chamber of Commerce back Judicial Redress Act
Tech giants, Chamber of Commerce back Judicial Redress Act

Tech giants, including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Facebook, are urging Congress to pass legislation that seeks to improve privacy relations when law enforcement data is transferred between the EU and U.S.

Back in March, Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., and John Conyers, D-Mich., introduced the Judicial Redress Act of 2015 announcing that the bill would extend citizens of major U.S. allies “the core benefits that Americans enjoy under the Privacy Act with regard to information shared with the United States for law enforcement purposes.”

On Tuesday, tech companies – along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Trans-Atlantic Business Council, Application Developers Alliance, and other groups – penned a letter (PDF) to House leaders to lobby further bipartisan support of the bill.

“The last two years have seen a significant erosion of global public trust in both the U.S. government and the U.S. technology sector,” the letter said, referencing the impact of Snowden leaks. “As a result, U.S. companies across all sectors are suffering negative commercial consequences abroad, including loss of contracts, and face further burdens due to proposals to limit international data flows and impose onerous localization requirements on digital products and services.”

Of note, the Judicial Redress Act aims to help citizens of major U.S. allies maintain some sense of ownership regarding information shared with U.S. law enforcement. The legislation would allow them to "ensure that the information is accurate and seek judicial recourse when it is not," the letter explained. 

When the bill, H.R. 1428, was introduced last month, Rep. Conyers said in a statement that the legislation would offer American allies “a limited set of privacy protections,” and stand as a “measure of basic fairness [since] our friends abroad should have some course of redress with respect to information that they provided to the U.S. government in the first place," he said.

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