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Tech Giants Send Trump a Roadmap on Copyright, Encryption, Net Neutrality

A trade group that represents Facebook, Google and Amazon sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump on Monday that included a roadmap of key policy priorities covering topics like immigration and net neutrality, as well as copyright and patent reform. The Internet Association, whose members also include Netflix and Uber and other tech companies, congratulated Trump on his victory and said the industry “looks forward to engaging in an open and productive dialogue” about key issues.

“From standardizing data security and breach notification, to protecting encryption standards across digital technologies, leaders in public office must recognize the importance of the internet as a place where people can share their information and ideas and start and grow their businesses from anywhere in the United States,” the letter reads.

Below are some of association’s key issues:

Open Internet: “At its core, net neutrality is a principle that underpins a free and open internet. It ensures equal access to content by prohibiting paid prioritization, throttling, and blocking. The internet must be a place where companies can compete on a level playing field. Additionally, with more people accessing the internet through their mobile devices, any net neutrality rules must apply equally to mobile broadband. There is only one internet, and rules must be consistent no matter how consumers connect.”

Protect encryption: "Strong encryption is critical to national and individual security. Encryption is key to national defense, and it also protects our nation’s financial system and critical infrastructure. It 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. Laws that require companies to engineer vulnerabilities into products and services harm personal privacy and endanger national security. Support for strong encryption makes America more secure."

Patent reform: “Access to a cheap supply of vague, overly broad, low-quality patents in our system provides trolls the ammunition they need to engage in abusive litigation against unknowing businesses by asserting these unclear patents. There is no single action that would eliminate low-quality patents and the harm they bring to our innovation economy. Instead, a dynamic and multifaceted approach to reform all sectors of the patent system is necessary to maintain U.S. global competitiveness and economic growth.”

Copyright reform: “Copyright policies must prioritize the public interest by protecting innovation and freedom of expression online, encouraging new forms of follow-on creative works, and ensuring users have access to legal content. Threats to the flexible framework, such as weakening limitations or exceptions to safe harbors, would create barriers to entry for internet startups and creators, which would deny users the ability to access content online.”

On the issue of weakening intermediary liability laws, the group also called on Trump to support copyright safe harbors, which they say “provide flexibility that creates a future-proof framework in which private parties are incentivized to efficiently comply with the law and work collaboratively on private sector efforts tailored to the unique needs of platforms and creators.”

Read the full letter here.