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Congresswoman Suzan DelBene

Representing the 1st District of Washington


Technology Photo

Before coming to Washington, D.C., I had a long career in the technology sector, where I had the opportunity to work on everything from embedded systems to e-commerce. As co-founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Internet of Things Caucus, I am working to help educate other Members of Congress so the work we do is forward-looking and grounded in the realities of the 21st century.   

As Internet-connected devices continue to proliferate and change the way we work, play, and live, ensuring we have strong, up-to-date privacy laws in place is critical. Right now, we have too many out-of-date laws on the books that fail to protect Americans’ privacy and leave a great deal of uncertainty for U.S. companies doing business domestically and overseas.

In the 114th Congress, I’ve helped introduce several bills that would address these issues and  update our privacy laws.  

  • The Online Communication and Geolocation Protection Act: Requires law enforcement to obtain a warrant before service providers disclose any electronic communications content (email, text, chat logs, etc.) or geolocation information.
  • The Surveillance Order Reporting Act: Permits electronic service providers to publicly report government requests and demands for information and exempts providers from liability even if the provider would otherwise be prohibited by law from reporting that information.
  • The Secure Data Act: Prohibits a federal agency from requiring or requesting a manufacturer, developer, or seller of any computer hardware, software, or electronic device made available to the general public to design or alter the security functions to allow the surveillance of any user or the physical search of such product by any agency.
  • Email Privacy Act: Requires the government to obtain a warrant before requiring providers to disclose the content of communications regardless of how long the communication has been held in electronic storage by an electronic communication service or whether the information is sought from an electronic communication service or a remote computing service.
  • Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad (LEADS) Act: Requires the government to obtain a warrant before requiring providers to disclose the contents of a U.S. person’s wire or electronic communication in electronic storage with or otherwise stored, held, or maintained by the provider overseas.

According to some estimates, the number of wireless devices will hit 8 billion by 2016. With the growing use of these devices comes exponentially growing demand for wireless spectrum. To meet that demand, we need to ensure we are using spectrum efficiently so that innovative new technologies can continue to thrive and consumers can safely and reliably use their devices. I cosponsored the Wi-Fi Innovation Act to open access to unlicensed spectrum, and to bring wireless access to currently underserved communities. I will continue to look for opportunities to open more spectrum in ways that responsibly balance innovation and public safety. 

Intellectual Property
Strong intellectual property protections are at the heart of the U.S. innovation economy. Without policies that protect innovators, we cannot continue to lead the world in both technology and entertainment. But we also have to ensure that systems designed to protect inventors are not abused by bad actors, draining critical capital from the economy that would be better used for hiring workers or research and development. That’s why, in the 113th Congress, I voted for bipartisan patent reform legislation that would help curb abusive patent litigation while continuing to protect the rights of inventors. I will continue to work with my colleagues toward meaningful patent reform in the 114th Congress, as well as updating our copyright laws to better suit the needs of the digital age.   

More on Technology

Sep 12, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA) joined Reps. Doug Collins (R-GA), Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and Darrell Issa (R-CA) in introducing the International Communications Privacy Act (ICPA), H.R. 3718, to outline when and how law enforcement may access electronic information stored abroad.
Jun 14, 2017 In The News
On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on lawful access to data stored abroad. This is a timely hearing about an issue that will have significant impact on the future of cloud technology and jobs in the United States – and it’s time for Congress to take the lead.
May 31, 2017 eNewsletters
Dear Friend, As many of you may know, before becoming a Member of Congress, I had a long career in the technology sector and as an entrepreneur. I’ve seen firsthand how quickly technologies can develop and become critical components to our everyday lives.
May 25, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA) introduced legislation to test and evaluate innovative portable benefit designs for the growing independent workforce. As many as one-third of the U.S. workforce is currently engaged in temporary, contract or on-demand work, and the Warner-DelBene proposal seeks innovative ways to provide these workers with access to many of the social insurance protections typically provided to workers through traditional full-time employment.
May 3, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Representatives Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), Bill Flores (R-Texas), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) have formed and will serve as co-chairs of  Congressional Caucus on Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality Technologies for the 115th Congress. The co-chairs released the following joint statement regarding formation of the caucus:
May 1, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Reps. Suzan DelBene (WA-01) and Erik Paulsen (MN-03) today launched the congressional Digital Trade Caucus to promote a U.S. trade policy that works in the digital economy.
Apr 27, 2017 In The News
If you’re not happy with the high-occupancy toll lanes on I-405 that allow drivers who can afford it pay a fee to escape slower traffic, imagine the same two tiers for users on the information super highway.
Apr 23, 2017 In The News
Science itself may be nonpartisan, but the March for Science this weekend simply couldn’t be.
Apr 12, 2017 Press Release
MOUNT VERNON – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today visited the Boys & Girls Club of Skagit County to donate computers and highlight the devastating effects of President Trump’s proposed budget cuts on our community — including this important afterschool program.
Apr 5, 2017 In The News
This week, I spent a few days in the “other Washington” where I had the opportunity to meet with the members of our federal legislative delegation and their staffs. I shared with them the invaluable, vital work that our University of Washington community does to expand the frontiers of scientific research, improve healthcare, develop creativity through the arts and provide quality and affordable education to our students.