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BSA | The Software Alliance Challenges Congress: It’s Time to Act on the Data Agenda!

WASHINGTON — September 14, 2015 — BSA | The Software Alliance reached out today to House and Senate leadership, urging them to take action on several pending legislative efforts that will lay a solid and balanced foundation for growth of the global digital economy.

The letter, signed by over a dozen BSA members representing some of the world’s most innovative companies, focuses on BSA’s “Congressional 2015 Data Agenda,” which highlights five achievable legislative efforts related to software and data services BSA is working to support:

  • Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) reform: requiring a warrant for law enforcement access to data in the cloud. Movement on ECPA is critical, because passage would bolster privacy rights by making law enforcement use the same standard to get a warrant for email as it currently uses for paper communications.
  • Information sharing legislation: promoting cybersecurity by enabling private actors to voluntarily and more easily share cyber threat information with others, with an appropriate balance between privacy and security. Sharing real-time information about the latest threats and intrusions bolsters security. Today, outdated legal barriers exist that prevent companies from sharing much-needed information about our most dangerous cybersecurity threats; this bill would remove those legal barriers.
  • Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad (LEADS) Act: applying the principles of ECPA reform internationally by establishing a framework for requests for data that is held overseas. Creating such a system would help alleviate tensions driving international frustration over law enforcement access to data.  
  • Mutual Legal Assistance Treat (MLAT) modernization: improving the US system for cross-border access to digital evidence, and addressing a significant cause of international data localization efforts. Agreements are in place that enable investigators in many countries to cooperate across borders, yet the systems are not tailored to today’s digital environment. Importantly, MLAT modernization would cut the red tape that slows down US and foreign law enforcement’s ability to execute lawful search warrants in other countries.
  • Judicial Redress Act: calling for extending certain privacy rights to non-Americans and bolstering support in Europe for cross-border data flows. This would provide foreign citizens access to US courts to protect the privacy of their data in the same way that American citizens can access courts in Europe.

“As we move toward the end of 2015, it’s important to focus on issues with such potential that are also achievable,” said Victoria Espinel, President and CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance. “We need clear, predictable and reliable rules around data services so businesses, consumers, and governments can all have appropriate levels of security and safety. This is a competitiveness issue, and it needs leadership. Now is the time for Congress to act, and we’re eager to work with lawmakers in the weeks ahead.”

Click here to download the full letter.
9/14/2015
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About BSA

BSA | The Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 60 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.
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