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Tech Trade Groups Push Presidential Candidates To Defend Cybersecurity, Privacy

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Thirteen tech trade groups representing Apple, Uber, Facebook, Amazon and other companies are pushing the remaining U.S. presidential candidates to support cybersecurity, data privacy and welcome skilled immigrants.

In a set of tech policy recommendations released Wednesday, the tech companies said the next president should "recognize encryption as a critical security tool," and support global trust in digital goods and services by targeting access to consumer data.

The letter has also been signed by the Telecommunications Industry Association, the Consumer Technology Association and BSA, according to InfoWorld.

The letter suggests that there is not enough discussion of tech-related issues among the presidential candidates.

"The technology sector is eager to see robust engagement on, and ultimately support for, the issues that matter most to our nation," the letter states.

The presumptive Republican nominee, your drunk uncle at Thanksgiving, and likely Democratic nominee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have both raised concerns about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that would make it easier for companies in the U.S. to sell American products overseas by eliminating more than 18,000 taxes and other trade barriers. The TPP was signed back in February, but has yet to be approved by Congress.

While tech companies have pushed for the trade deal, the candidates worry about it taking jobs away from American employees.

In a Republican debate in March, Trump argued against more H-1B visas for skilled foreign workers, saying he was "softening the position because we need to have talented people in this country," Reuters reported.

Clinton has not yet commented on TPP renegotiations, but she has said she supports giving a number of visas to high-skilled workers.

On her website, Clinton includes a policy statement on cyberattacks, urging the public and private sectors to work together "to strengthen security and build resiliency for economy and infrastructure."

"Our country will outpace this rapidly changing threat, maintain strong protections against unwarranted government or corporate surveillance, and ensure American companies are the most competitive in the world," her website says.

Other groups that have signed the letter include Allied for Startups, BSA the Software Alliance, Computer Technology Industry Association, Computer & Communications Industry Association, Consumer Technology Association, Semiconductor Industry Association, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Software & Information Industry Association, Technology CEO Council and TechNet.

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