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Tech Companies Lobby for U.S. Cybersecurity, Immigration Rules

April 19 (Bloomberg) -- Technology companies want the U.S. to bolster cybersecurity, ease immigration restrictions and let funds held abroad be repatriated, said a group with members including Microsoft Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc.

“We want to make sure that America is a more competitive nation,” Carl Guardino, chief executive officer of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, said today in an interview at Bloomberg’s offices in Washington.

Members include software makers Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, and San Jose, California-based Adobe, along with scientific-testing equipment manufacturer Agilent Technologies Inc. of Santa Clara, California, and cancer-treatment company Varian Medical Systems Inc. of Palo Alto, California, according to the leadership group’s website. Its members employ one in three workers in California’s Silicon Valley, Guardino said.

Companies set meetings this week with lawmakers including Representative Mike Rogers, the Michigan Republican sponsoring a cybersecurity bill, and Steven VanRoekel, the U.S. chief information officer.

Cybersecurity legislation must guard privacy and let government share information with businesses, more than 20 business and technology associations said in an April 17 letter to House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, and Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who is minority leader.

Civil-liberties groups say the Rogers bill would erode online privacy. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act would shield companies from lawsuits over exchanging data with the government. It awaits a House vote.

Rogers has said the bill is “very limited” and covers sharing information about threats and vulnerabilities. The measure has more than 100 co-sponsors from both parties.

The Silicon Valley group didn’t identify which of five cybersecurity bills in the House it prefers.

The issue is “moving forward,” Guardino said. “We spent a lot of time yesterday briefing senators as to why they should be embracing the key components” of House bills.

To contact the reporter on this story: Todd Shields in Washington at tshields3@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernard Kohn at bkohn2@bloomberg.net

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