DARPA_Big_DataI wrote awhile back in The Des Moines Register an open letter to the many prospective candidates for President – “Privacy matters in Iowa.”

Recently, a federal court in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York declared that the National Security Agency’s meta-data spying program is not allowed under the law.  Privacy is on the rise.

A group of conservative organizations issued a letter to Senator Grassley indicating support for something called the LEADS Act.  This is a bill protects privacy, promotes cross-border data flow and international trade. 

The legislation clarifies the law to allow law enforcement access to overseas held U.S persons if a warrant has been issued.  This proposed law also extends legal protection for email and other digitally stored data for over 180 days. 

Groups supporting this idea include the Institute for Liberty, Citizens Against Government Waste, Taxpayers Protection Alliance, American Commitment, Let Freedom Ring, National Center for Policy Analysis and Less Government.  These conservative groups in Washington, DC are a collection of the conservative movement who are pushing for ideas that expand privacy.

In the letter, the groups argue: “Until now, the U.S. Government has relied on the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to reach data of foreign citizens stored abroad so long as the company storing the data had a presence on U.S. soil. This practice creates distrust of American businesses and encourages foreign citizens, companies and countries to stop doing business with U.S. companies operating overseas. Eventually, this will harm U.S. companies and threaten America’s leadership in cloud computing technology.”

Our own Senator Grassley is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and he will have an opportunity to hold hearings on this idea that would both benefit American companies and promote cloud computing.

Iowans love privacy and they will be looking to Washington, and asking all the presidential hopefuls visiting Iowa, what they plan to do to protect privacy and expand freedom.

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