BSA: Congress must fund high-tech initiatives

A group representing the U.S. software industry and its hardware partners is calling on Congress to provide full funding for a number of high-tech initiatives in President Bush's 2009 budget.

The Business Software Alliance (BSA), which will meet in Washington next week, wants full funding for initiatives related to cybercrime, technology used by the FBI and international trade. In addition, the group wants Congress to improve the nation's patent system and increase data security.

The chief technology officers and research heads of 13 companies belonging to the alliance signed the March 6 letters to the Senate and House leadership.

"In light of rising global economic competition and mixed signals in the domestic economy, we urge you to support several pending measures to strengthen America's high-tech industry, including full funding of critically important high-tech initiatives in the administration's proposed FY 09 budget," the executives wrote.

BSA also wants:
  • Increased federal investment in basic research programs.
  • Permanent and strengthened federal research and development tax credit.
  • Recommitment to math, science, engineering and information technology education to foster a skilled and educated workforce.
  • Approval of an H1-B visa program that is more responsive to market needs.
  • Steps to accelerate wired and wireless broadband development.

In the letters, the executives called for $430 million to fund the Commerce Department's International Trade Administration, $293.5 million for the National Cyber Security Division to enhance protection of federal networks and related cybersecurity efforts and $438 million to fund increased IT security and program enhancements at the FBI.

The individuals who signed the letters represent Adobe Systems Inc., Cadence Design Systems Inc., EMC Corp., Sybase Corp., Symantec Corp., Monotype Imaging Inc., McAfee Inc., Apple Computer Inc., Dell Inc., Microsoft Corp., Autodesk Inc., CA Inc. and Synopsys Inc.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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