4,000

Senator Orrin Hatch
2017-01-11 18:29:12
Friends, Utah’s Silicon Slopes is fertile ground for enterprise, entrepreneurship, and innovation. In the coming Congress, I intend to keep our companies strong by promoting a robust tech agenda that will boost economic growth, create good-paying jobs, and secure America’s position as the technology capital of the world. In this endeavor, I am grateful for the unwavering support I have received from several prominent members of Utah’s tech ecosystem, such as Domo CEO Josh James. Josh was kind enough to recognize my efforts to strengthen Silicon Slopes in an op-ed he published last week in the Salt Lake Tribune: “As chairman of both the Finance Committee and the Republican High-Tech Task Force, Hatch is uniquely positioned to influence legislation on a wide range of issues important to America's tech community. Using these platforms, Hatch has not only fought to bolster our nation's economic competitiveness; he has also championed an innovation agenda that puts the needs of Utah's more than 4,000 tech companies front and center.” I plan to keep our state at the vanguard of technology leadership and innovation. To that end, I will work side-by-side with the new administration to continue fighting for reforms that affect tech users both here in Utah and across the nation. Just this week, Politico published a story that outlines my plan to partner with the President-elect to advance this ambitious tech agenda, which includes policies to strengthen data privacy and intellectual property protections.  To learn more about my work in Congress to champion these issues, I encourage you to read the Politico article and the Josh James op-ed below. Sincerely,   Orrin     Op-ed: Utah’s Silicon Slopes owe a lot to Hatch’s support By Josh James, CEO, DOMO www.sltrib.com/opinion/4777123-155/op-ed-utahs-silicon-slopes-owe-a    As a young and first-time CEO at Omniture, I once received a special visit from one of Utah's leading public servants. Although dressed more conservatively than the hoodie-clad developers outside my office, this visitor was no stranger to the world of tech. He spoke with remarkable fluency about complex issues facing the software industry, demonstrating an energy and expertise that belied his age. Together, we discussed tech policy and the future of innovation in Utah. Near the end of our conversation, he put his hand on my shoulder and looked me in the eyes promising to do everything he could to help companies like mine succeed.  Since the day we met, Sen. Orrin Hatch has kept his promise and, despite the demands of Washington, he has continued to make himself extremely accessible to listen to the needs of my business and industry. Many of my Utah colleagues would agree that no one in Washington has been more instrumental to the success of Silicon Slopes.  As chairman of both the Finance Committee and the Republican High-Tech Task Force, Hatch is uniquely positioned to influence legislation on a wide range of issues important to America's tech community. Using these platforms, Hatch has not only fought to bolster our nation's economic competitiveness; he has also championed an innovation agenda that puts the needs of Utah's more than 4,000 tech companies front and center.  Consider what Hatch accomplished in the past year alone to strengthen our state's tech ecosystem: He spearheaded passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act — a bipartisan bill that has been widely hailed as the most significant intellectual property reform in years. This legislation strengthens legal protections for companies like Domo that depend on trade secrets to develop new products and remain competitive. He brought together lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to pass a common-sense proposal that strengthens privacy in the digital age and promotes trust in U.S. technologies abroad. Hatch's legislation is a significant boon to Utah cloud computing companies that depend on the EU-US Privacy Shield agreement for cross-border data flows. He also introduced a key proposal to reform our nation's outdated immigration laws to ensure that high-skilled foreigners who study at our universities and who want to contribute to our economy can stay here once they graduate. Tech executives across the state — and across the country — support Hatch's bill because it helps meet the growing demand for professionals who have special training in science, technology, engineering and math. These are just a few of Hatch's legislative achievements in Congress. Add to this his efforts to combat patent trolls, promote trade legislation and strengthen America's competitive workforce. On these and so many other issues of critical importance to our state's and nation's tech industry, Hatch is again out front. For over a decade now, he has helped put Utah on the map by bringing technology's most influential CEOs to Utah. Marc Benioff of Salesforce, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Mark Hurd of H-P, Shantanu Narayen of Adobe, Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn, and most recently Tim Cook of Apple, have all found time to join Utah's tech community at annual Utah Tech Council Hall of Fame events in Salt Lake City. Over the years, I've asked each CEO why they came, and without fail, they each said it was because of Hatch. Fortunately for Utah and the technology industry at large, we have Orrin Hatch representing us in Washington, D.C. His experience, work ethic and tech savvy are unmatched. As we prepare for the inaugural Silicon Slopes Tech Summit (Jan. 19 and 20) in Salt Lake City, his role in helping build a thriving tech community is greatly appreciated. I don't know if he plans to run for another term, but I certainly hope he will consider it. If he does, he'll surely have my vote. We're on a roll after all — and we need Senator Hatch's continued leadership. Josh James is founder and CEO of Domo, a business management software developer in American Fork.    

Friends,

Utah’s Silicon Slopes is fertile ground for enterprise, entrepreneurship, and innovation. In the coming Congress, I intend to keep our companies strong by promoting a robust tech agenda that will boost economic growth, create good-paying jobs, and secure America’s position as the technology capital of the world.

In this endeavor, I am grateful for the unwavering support I have received from several prominent members of Utah’s tech ecosystem, such as Domo CEO Josh James. Josh was kind enough to recognize my efforts to strengthen Silicon Slopes in an op-ed he published last week in the Salt Lake Tribune :

“As chairman of both the Finance Committee and the Republican High-Tech Task Force, Hatch is uniquely positioned to influence legislation on a wide range of issues important to America's tech community. Using these platforms, Hatch has not only fought to bolster our nation's economic competitiveness; he has also championed an innovation agenda that puts the needs of Utah's more than 4,000 tech companies front and center.”

I plan to keep our state at the vanguard of technology leadership and innovation. To that end, I will work side-by-side with the new administration to continue fighting for reforms that affect tech users both here in Utah and across the nation. Just this week, Politico published a story that outlines my plan to partner with the President-elect to advance this ambitious tech agenda, which includes policies to strengthen data privacy and intellectual property protections. 

To learn more about my work in Congress to champion these issues, I encourage you to read the Politico article and the Josh James op-ed below.

Sincerely,

 

Orrin

 

 

Op-ed: Utah’s Silicon Slopes owe a lot to Hatch’s support
By Josh James, CEO, DOMO

  

As a young and first-time CEO at Omniture, I once received a special visit from one of Utah's leading public servants. Although dressed more conservatively than the hoodie-clad developers outside my office, this visitor was no stranger to the world of tech. He spoke with remarkable fluency about complex issues facing the software industry, demonstrating an energy and expertise that belied his age. Together, we discussed tech policy and the future of innovation in Utah. Near the end of our conversation, he put his hand on my shoulder and looked me in the eyes promising to do everything he could to help companies like mine succeed. 

Since the day we met, Sen. Orrin Hatch has kept his promise and, despite the demands of Washington, he has continued to make himself extremely accessible to listen to the needs of my business and industry. Many of my Utah colleagues would agree that no one in Washington has been more instrumental to the success of Silicon Slopes. 

As chairman of both the Finance Committee and the Republican High-Tech Task Force, Hatch is uniquely positioned to influence legislation on a wide range of issues important to America's tech community. Using these platforms, Hatch has not only fought to bolster our nation's economic competitiveness; he has also championed an innovation agenda that puts the needs of Utah's more than 4,000 tech companies front and center. 

Consider what Hatch accomplished in the past year alone to strengthen our state's tech ecosystem:

  • He spearheaded passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act — a bipartisan bill that has been widely hailed as the most significant intellectual property reform in years. This legislation strengthens legal protections for companies like Domo that depend on trade secrets to develop new products and remain competitive.
  • He brought together lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to pass a common-sense proposal that strengthens privacy in the digital age and promotes trust in U.S. technologies abroad. Hatch's legislation is a significant boon to Utah cloud computing companies that depend on the EU-US Privacy Shield agreement for cross-border data flows.
  • He also introduced a key proposal to reform our nation's outdated immigration laws to ensure that high-skilled foreigners who study at our universities and who want to contribute to our economy can stay here once they graduate. Tech executives across the state — and across the country — support Hatch's bill because it helps meet the growing demand for professionals who have special training in science, technology, engineering and math.

These are just a few of Hatch's legislative achievements in Congress. Add to this his efforts to combat patent trolls, promote trade legislation and strengthen America's competitive workforce. On these and so many other issues of critical importance to our state's and nation's tech industry, Hatch is again out front.

For over a decade now, he has helped put Utah on the map by bringing technology's most influential CEOs to Utah. Marc Benioff of Salesforce, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Mark Hurd of H-P, Shantanu Narayen of Adobe, Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn, and most recently Tim Cook of Apple, have all found time to join Utah's tech community at annual Utah Tech Council Hall of Fame events in Salt Lake City. Over the years, I've asked each CEO why they came, and without fail, they each said it was because of Hatch.

Fortunately for Utah and the technology industry at large, we have Orrin Hatch representing us in Washington, D.C. His experience, work ethic and tech savvy are unmatched. As we prepare for the inaugural Silicon Slopes Tech Summit (Jan. 19 and 20) in Salt Lake City, his role in helping build a thriving tech community is greatly appreciated. I don't know if he plans to run for another term, but I certainly hope he will consider it. If he does, he'll surely have my vote. We're on a roll after all — and we need Senator Hatch's continued leadership.

Josh James is founder and CEO of Domo, a business management software developer in American Fork.

 

 

Hatch could be unlikely tech ally in Trump administration
  
By Ashley Gold – 01/09/2017
 
 

The youth-obsessed tech industry may have an unlikely ally in Donald Trump’s Washington: octogenarian Sen. Orrin Hatch.

The Utah Republican, 82, says he stands ready to advance issues like encryption and increasing the amount of visas for the high-skilled workers that help power places like Silicon Valley and Utah’s own “Silicon Slopes.”

His stance on those two issues so key to technology types will make him an especially important figure if Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) — who has differed with Hatch on both issues — is confirmed as attorney general. Sessions is the nominee of Trump, who has at times disparaged tech companies and their leaders.

The technology industry tends to be Democratically aligned — advocating strong privacy and consumer protection, more visas for high-skilled foreign workers and welcoming innovation-friendly attitudes from Washington. It stands to lose in the Trump administration after fawning attention under President Barack Obama. Hatch could mitigate this divide with his affinity for cutting-edge technology, encrypted communications and bringing the world's brightest to the U.S. to work at companies like Apple.

Hatch, chairman of the Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force, says he's had conversations with the president elect and his team about a number of high-tech priorities. “I’m confident we’re gonna work well together,” he said in an interview. Trump “wants to strengthen the economy and of course help America lead in this world of innovation. I share those same priorities, so hopefully we will be able to get a lot done. We’re going to try.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook is a believer. “Let me just say that I've had the pleasure of-of knowing Sen. Hatch for several years now,” Cook, in a rare public appearance, said at Hatch's Utah Tech Tour last fall. “We are all better off because of his hard work, whether it's on tax reform, or encryption, or intellectual property protection. He does great work for the people of Utah and for America.”

Hatch took Apple’s side in favor of encryption after the San Bernardino massacre in December 2015 that killed 14 people, leading the FBI to demand access to the shooter’s iPhone to look for evidence. Hatch argued that the tech giant had the right to keep its customers’ encrypted phone data private even as other lawmakers — on both sides of the aisle — and the FBI argued that Apple should unlock gunman Syed Farook’s phone in the name of national security. The FBI says the data found on the phone, which Apple never did unlock, didn't generate leads pertinent to the investigation.

Hatch also invited Ted Olson, Apple’s lawyer during the San Bernardino litigation, to Capitol Hill to speak with senators about encryption as the issue percolated.

He's shown his support for his colleague Sessions, despite possible differences. In December, the pair met in the Capitol for a lengthy discussion, but Hatch said following the meeting that encryption and immigration, didn't come up.

“There’s a difference between being attorney general and being a sitting U.S. senator, and I’m not sure what his jurisdiction would be in this area anyway,” he said in the interview before meeting with Sessions. “Jeff and I have always gotten along well, and I think he’s got to look a little broader than being in the Senate, and I think Trump certainly looks a little broader. We’ll see.”

Soon after their meeting, Hatch delivered a lengthy address on the Senate floor advocating for Sessions' quick confirmation.

Hatch also has the ear of Trump himself. He said he hasn’t made any specific asks of the president-elect, but he’s primed to have the president-elect’s ear on tech issues.

“I’ve had conversations with the president-elect and his team about a number of high tech priorities,” he said. “I am there to support him, and I hope that he will reciprocate and support some of these things that I think are prime to be resolved.”

Fred Humphries, vice president of U.S. government affairs for Microsoft Corp., which has pushed for increasing H1-B visas for tech workers, said he looks to Hatch as a leader on technology issues.

“Sen. Hatch is one of the most effective legislators in Congress,” he said in an email. “Throughout his time in public service, he has effectively brought stakeholders together to craft common-sense solutions.” He cited Hatch’s work on passing a measure for the U.S. and EU to share criminal justice data, trade promotion and advocating for immigration reform for high-skilled workers, privacy of data stored overseas and tax reform.

Hatch plans to reintroduce in the new Congress his I-Squared bill that, it its latest version, would raise the annual cap on H1-B guest worker visas to between 115,000 and 195,000 from 65,000. He said the onus is on him and other supporters of the bill to make a strong case for reform in the new administration.

Hatch’s record of supporting strong encryption and updating privacy laws is welcomed by privacy and civil rights advocates, but some pointed out that he hasn’t been as strong on other policy areas important to the tech community, like fighting mass surveillance. “Sen. Hatch’s history on technology and privacy issues is mixed,” said Neema Singh Guliani, legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union. “He has emphasized the importance of strong encryption and supported updating our outdated privacy laws — two issues that are critical to our digital economy. At the same time, however, he has voted on several occasions against NSA reform and in favor of legislation that would expand the government’s surveillance authorities.”

Rob Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, said Sessions may have his hands too full with other issues as the potential attorney general to give encryption and high-skilled immigration a lot of thought.

Atkinson said he doesn’t see the Republicans in Congress rolling over for the Trump administration in many areas, though there may be some “spirited disagreements.” And there’s a chance legislation like Hatch’s I-Squared bill will pass if it’s not tied to more comprehensive immigration reform, he said.

“It’s highly unlikely to see Sen. Hatch roll over for kind of immigration policies Sen. Sessions has supported,” Atkinson said.

Hatch says he hopes the new Congress will make headway on other tech issues such as patent trolls and the International Communications Privacy Act, a bipartisan bill he helped introduce in May that would direct how U.S. law enforcement can obtain electronic communications around the world. He said that should fall to Congress, not the courts, and he’s confident Congress will get it done soon.

Hatch says he hopes Trump will tune into the high-tech world and look to them for solutions, as he has, “without worrying too much about the politics involved.”

 

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Senator Orrin Hatch
104 Hart Office Building Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5251
Fax: (202) 224-6331