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NAJI Supports Legislation to Strengthen Legal Protections for Electronic Communications

February 12, 2015

Senator Orrin Hatch
104 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Senator Christopher Coons
127A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Senator Dean Heller
324 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senators Hatch, Coons, and Heller:

On behalf of the members of the National Alliance for Jobs and Innovation (NAJI), I write to thank you for your continued leadership on the Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad Act (LEADS Act – S.512) and for promoting an important public dialogue on the complex issues surrounding data privacy in the digital age. NAJI supports this important legislation and believes that legal protections for our electronic communications must be updated to reflect the realities of data storage today and to maintain our global competitive position.

I am NAJI’s President and also the former Attorney General of Washington State and past President of the National Association of Attorneys General.  NAJI represents over 400 small- and medium-size manufacturing enterprises and associations around the United States. For our members, the confidentiality of business data and electronic communications, and their protection from arbitrary government seizure, are of the utmost importance.

Like other businesses, and perhaps even more than most, U.S. manufacturers have benefited tremendously from the strong growth and continuing innovation of the U.S. information technology (IT) industry. But in order for U.S. companies to achieve their full potential and for our nation to maintain its position at the pinnacle of innovation and competitiveness, our data, business records, and other electronic information must be protected from arbitrary government intrusion. The LEADS Act will strengthen privacy in the digital age and promote trust in U.S. IT technologies worldwide, while enabling law enforcement to fulfill its public safety mission.

The LEADS Act will not only require law enforcement to obtain search warrants before accessing private data stored by cloud computing services, but will also strengthen international law enforcement cooperation through the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) process. NAJI believes these provisions are essential and strongly supports their adoption.

Again, thank you for re-introducing the LEADS Act. We appreciate your willingness to address these vital issues and look forward to engaging with you and all Members of Congress in this important dialogue.

Sincerely,

Rob McKenna

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