Rep. Kline Tours Data Sales
The following is a guest post from Bob Breckner of Data Sales:
At HostingCon in Austin, TX early this summer, Christian Dawson, Board Chair of i2Coalition, spoke and encouraged those in attendance to contact their Congressional delegation and encourage them to visit businesses their districts. Intrigued by the idea, I reached out to U.S. Representative John Kline whose district includes Data Sales’ corporate headquarters in Burnsville, MN. I invited the Congressman to tour our facilities and learn more about our company and the Internet infrastructure industry.
The result was fantastic. Working with the Congressman’s office, we arranged for a visit to our offices last week. Congressman Kline was given for a tour of our facility, followed by a sit down conversation about Data Sales, the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition), and our industry as a whole.
I explained to Congressman Kline some of the industry’s top concerns such as privacy, patent reform and national security We discussed that Data Sales provides equipment lease financing to many companies in this sector. We talked about growth in the data sector, and the hosting and cloud industry and what they provide. In regards to the i2Coalition, I highlighted the goals of the organization and some of the top policy priorities of the coalition. Among the issues we discussed were H.R. 1580 and the importance of a multi-stakeholder process in governance discussions; protecting innovation from frivolous “Patent Troll” lawsuits; the need for transparency in any CISPA legislation; and the impact of NSA data collection on our industry.
The discussion on the NSA focused on the economic impact of companies choosing to store their data in non-US locations. I explained to Rep. Kline that the perception that the US government has nearly complete access to customer’s data is hurting the industry, and that foreign companies are using it as a selling point to lure business to their countries. Following up with his office after the conversation, I specifically referenced these articles on the issue. The U.S. cloud computing industry could lose between $21.5 billion and $35 billion in revenues over the next three years as a result of concerns about the National Security Agency’s electronic surveillance programs…The figures, calculated by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, are the first serious attempt to gauge the impact of the NSA revelations on cloud computing providers.”
The visit from Congressman Kline went very well, and gave us a chance to talk about substantial issues that must be addressed to preserve the competitiveness of America’s Internet infrastructure industry. I encourage other i2Coaltion members to reach out to their representatives to do the same, and keep moving forward the i2Coalition’s mission to educate the public and lawmakers alike about the necessity of a free and open Internet.