Extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act, Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Email Privacy Provide Boost to Technology Industry
Washington – CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Association, released the following statement on the passage of the $1.1 trillion spending package that provides for an extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act, increased liability protection for companies sharing important cybersecurity information with the government and a ban on civil agencies from requiring unconstitutional warrantless disclosures of electronic communications. The following statement should be attributed to Elizabeth Hyman, Executive Vice President, CompTIA:
“We are grateful to Congressional leaders for including several important legislative agenda items in this year’s omnibus spending bill. The inclusion of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), further protections to email communications and an 8.1 percent increase over FY2015 in R&D funding are all vital to the technology industry and growth of the digital economy. We also recognize the effort to address the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA).
“We are pleased to see another extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act included in the omnibus legislation, however, we will continue to work to make this provision permanent. Each time the ITFA is set to expire, consumers are left with uncertainty as to whether new state and local taxes will be imposed on their Internet access. Also, many of our members that provide Internet services are faced with possible new business requirements that would require them to install accounting and tax systems to collect and remit these taxes. Accordingly, we continue to call on Congress to bring certainty to our business and personal tax obligations and compliance requirements by enacting the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act.
“We also appreciate the provisions included in the omnibus that address cybersecurity and information sharing. It is in the best interest for our national and economic security and consumer protections to better enable government and industry to share threat information with each other in a targeted, technology neutral fashion, and on a voluntary basis. The language included in this omnibus bill goes far in achieving these objectives.
“Finally, including language on ECPA reform in the omnibus bill is an excellent sign that Congress opposes any sort of civil agency carve out as an amendment to an ECPA reform bill. It shows that Congress understands the importance of privacy rights in our emails and text messages. We hope that they build upon this momentum and pass full-blown ECPA reform in 2016.”
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is the voice of the information technology industry. With approximately 2,000 member companies, 3,000 academic and training partners and nearly 2 million IT certifications issued, CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications and public policy advocacy. Visit CompTIA online, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
About CompTIA Advocacy
Through its advocacy arm, CompTIA champions member-driven business and IT priorities that impact all information technology companies – from small managed solutions providers and software developers to large equipment manufacturers and communications service providers. CompTIA gives eyes, ears and a voice to technology companies, informing them of policy developments – and providing the means to do something about it.