US internet firms such as Facebook, Google, Amazon and Twitter have sent president-elect Donald Trump an open letter congratulating him on his victory and laying out a policy road map for the next four years. The 12-page letter by the Internet Association, a trade group of 40 technology companies including Uber, LinkedIn and Netflix, lists multiple policy priorities including support for stronger encryption, immigration reform and protection for internet companies from liability for content posted by users on their platforms.
"The internet industry is a critical force for growth in our modern economy," Internet Association president and CEO Michael Beckerman said in a statement. "We look forward to working closely with the Trump administration along with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to implement policies that promote innovation and cement the internet's role as a driver of economic and social progress for future generations."
Some of the other policy priorities listed in the letter include reducing taxes on profits derived from intellectual property, easing regulations on the sharing economy and putting pressure on Europe to not erect barriers that would make it harder for US companies to innovate and grow within that market.
"The internet represents the best of American innovation, freedom and ingenuity," Beckerman writes in the letter. "Businesses of all sizes are able to connect with new customers at the touch of a button and compete on a global scale in ways impossible just a decade ago. Nowhere was this more apparent than your use of the internet to connect with and energize voters throughout the campaign."
The Internet Association also called on Trump to support strong encryption, maintain net neutrality rules and ensure an open internet and seek immigration reform that supports more high-skilled graduates and workers staying in the United States and contributing to the economy.
In March, Trump adjusted his stance on immigration and H1B visas saying: "We need highly skilled people in this country. And if we can't do it, we'll get them in."
"I'm softening the position because we have to have talented people in this country," Trump said at the time.
The group also called for reforming Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows the NSA to collect online information without a warrant. It sought reform of the 30-year-old Electronic Communications Privacy Act and give internet users "the same protections for their inbox as they do for their mailbox".
The letter follows a fierce campaign race during which Silicon Valley giants expressed serious concerns about a Trump presidency over immigration and trade policies, his behaviour and rhetoric, and his targeting of multiple tech companies including Apple. In July, around 145 top tech leaders, investors and entrepreneurs signed an open letter calling Trump "a disaster for innovation".
The group's new detailed policy agenda letter, however, seems to be a way to fix the relationship between Trump and Silicon Valley and move forward.
"From its inception, the internet was built on an open architecture that lowers entry barriers, fosters innovation, and empowers choice," Beckerman writes in the letter. "The internet industry looks forward to engaging in an open and productive dialogue."