REFILE-U.S. internet firms ask Trump to support encryption, ease regulations

(Refiles to make date of letter in second paragraph Monday and
not Friday. No other changes to text)

By Dustin Volz

Nov 14 U.S. internet companies
including Facebook Inc and Amazon Inc have sent
President-elect Donald Trump a detailed list of their policy
priorities, which includes promoting strong encryption,
immigration reform and maintaining liability protections from
content that users share on their platforms.

The letter sent on Monday by the Internet Association, a
trade group whose 40 members also include Alphabet’s Google
, Uber and Twitter, represents an
early effort to repair the relationship between the technology
sector and Trump, who was almost universally disliked and at
times denounced in Silicon Valley during the presidential

“The internet industry looks forward to engaging in an open
and productive dialogue,” reads the letter, signed by Michael
Beckerman, president of the Internet Association, and seen by

Some of the policy goals stated in the letter may align with
Trump’s priorities, including easing regulation on the sharing
economy, lowering taxes on profits made from intellectual
property and applying pressure on Europe to not erect too many
barriers that restrict U.S. internet companies from growing in
that market.

Other goals are likely to clash with Trump, who offered
numerous broadsides against the tech sector during his campaign.

They include supporting strong encryption in products
against efforts by law enforcement agencies to mandate access to
data for criminal investigations, upholding recent reforms to
U.S. government surveillance programs that ended the bulk
collection of call data by the National Security Agency, and
maintaining net neutrality rules that require internet service
providers to treat web traffic equally.

The association seeks immigration reform to support more
high-skilled workers staying in the United States. Though Trump
made tougher immigration policies a central theme of his
campaign, he has at times shied away from arguing against more
H-1B visas for skilled workers, saying in a March debate he was
“softening the position because we need to have talented people
in this country.”

While urging support for trade agreements, the letter does
not mention the Trans Pacific Partnership, which Trump has
repeatedly assailed with claims it was poorly negotiated and
would take jobs away from U.S. workers. The technology sector
supported the deal, but members of Congress have conceded since
the election it is not going to be enacted.

Trump’s often-shifting policy proposals on the campaign
trail frequently alarmed tech companies and sometimes elicited
public mockery, such as when Trump called for closing off parts
of the internet to limit militant Islamist propaganda.

Trump has also urged a boycott of Apple Inc
products over the company’s refusal to help the Federal Bureau
of Investigation unlock an iPhone associated with last year’s
San Bernardino, California, shootings, threatened antitrust
action against Amazon, and demanded that tech companies such as
Apple manufacture their products in the United States.

(Editing by Leslie Adler and Jeffrey Benkoe)

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