This Spring, I traveled to Washington DC and met with a congregation of other leaders in the technology industry at the invitation of Microsoft’s advocacy organization, Voices for Innovation. The occasion was an “advocacy blitz” that the group had planned for the following day to inform senators and representatives from all states about issues that directly affect the technology industry.
I received an invitation to join the three member delegation from Illinois in DC to advocate on behalf of legislation that makes sense for our technological future. For my part, I met with the offices Illinois Representative Mike Quigley and Senator Tammy Duckworth to discuss issues in the world of technology.
Issues on the Table
Data Privacy/CLOUD Act
Spurred recently by a Supreme Court case questioning what parameters exist to legally handle overseas use and storage of data, the CLOUD Act places a framework to define the legal restrictions of overseas data sharing and storage. The CLOUD Act provides needed legal certainty that will encourage innovation, commerce, and trust in technology. The bill also helps speed law enforcement activities and protects public safety.
Rural Broadband and TV Whitespace
TV whitespaces can be used to broadcast wireless broadband long distances to reach under-served rural areas with little or no access to affordable high-speed internet if the FCC reserves unused TV channels for use as wireless broadband in rural markets. If successful, this initiative can relieve rural families from the burden of traveling to fast food restaurants with WiFi before dawn so that their children can complete homework assignments.
Computer Science Funding
Only one of four K-12 schools in the U.S. offers any computer science courses, which puts our continued leadership in technology innovation at risk. It’s essential for the United States to increase federal funding for computer science education. Every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science.
After Effect – Legislation was Passed!
After the “advocacy blitz” that I participated in, Congress quickly passed the CLOUD Act. This is a big step toward creating a more certain legal framework and a secure environment for data and technology companies to do international business in, as there will be more concrete guidelines to follow and less probability of international data-border skirmishes.
Microsoft’s invitation to participate in Voices for Innovation’s advocacy campaign as an ambassador was exciting and enlightening for me. I was able to meet with influential individuals and discuss important issues affecting all businesses in America. It was especially rewarding to see fruits from our labor, through the passage of the CLOUD Act.
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Learn more about DMC's partnership with Microsoft.