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Tech groups push policy priorities for the Trump administration

Grant Gross | Nov. 11, 2016
Some of the policy proposals may be wishful thinking, however

TechNet's priorities include tax reform, which Trump has called for, and high-skilled immigration reform, and the candidate has sent mixed messages about his views on worker visas. With Trump pushing for illegal immigrants to be deported, some experts believe any compromise on the often linked high-skilled visa issue is dead during a Trump presidency.

Moore also called for Trump to support computer science education and to build a culture that supports startups. Neither of those issues appears to be a Trump priority.

One of the more optimistic plans for a Trump administration came from the Software and Information Industry Association, which on Wednesday released an 11-page list of policy recommendations for Trump and the next Congress. Those 11 pages dwarf Trump's written policy statements on tech during his campaign.

The SIIA called for Trump to promote flexible cybersecurity practices and to engage in a dialog with the tech industry on the benefits and challenges of technology in law enforcement.

The SIIA policy recommendations will enable policymakers to "promote software and information technology to create broad-based growth, reduce social and economic inequality, and secure America’s global leadership," SIIA President and CEO Ken Wasch wrote in a letter to Trump Wednesday.

The trade group also called on Trump to maintain consumer privacy protections while allowing companies to innovate with their use of data. 

Digital rights groups, however, worry about the impact of a Trump presidency on privacy. Trump has criticized Apple when it declined to assist the FBI with defeating encryption on a mass shooter's iPhone, and he's called for increased surveillance of Muslims living in the U.S. A centerpiece of Trump's campaign has been stopping illegal immigration, and his early calls to mass deport illegal immigrants also could lead to increased surveillance, critics have said.

Trump's plans to mass deport immigrants and increase surveillance on Muslims will be opposed,  Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union wrote in a blog post Wednesday.

"These proposals are not simply un-American and wrong-headed, they are unlawful and unconstitutional," Romero wrote. "If you do not reverse course and instead endeavor to make these campaign promises a reality, you will have to contend with the full firepower of the ACLU at every step."


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