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Congressional Committee Revives Data Security Legislation

A House committee has revived data security legislation that has languished for the last several years. The legislation could provide some useful safeguards for the privacy and security of consumer data, but the incremental nature of the potential gains highlights the need for general baseline privacy legislation. Key members of the same committee have expressed their intention to work on such general legislation as well. 1) Congressional Committee…

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Senate Resolution Pushes for Public Release of CRS Reports

Led by Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT), a bipartisan group of Senators has introduced a resolution to put Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports online. The bill, S. Res. 118, offers the best chance yet for public release of these congressionally requested research documents. A good bi-partisan group including Senators McCain (R-AZ), Leahy (D-VT), Feingold (D-WI), Harkin (D-IA), Collins (R-ME), and Lugar (R-IN) have co-sponsored the resolution,…

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Cybersecurity Program Should Be More Transparent, Protect Privacy

On February 9, President Obama ordered his National Security and Homeland Security Advisors to review the federal government’s cybersecurity plan, programs and activities. The 60-day review will culminate in recommendations as to how the new Administration should protect government networks from attack and help the private sector protect key networks, including financial and communications networks. On March 19, CDT provided the White House review team with recommendations on protecting…

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Improvements and Challenges in Health Privacy Law

The economic stimulus bill signed by President Obama on February 17 included provisions making significant improvements in federal health privacy law. The changes are complicated and incremental. They build on existing privacy and security rules issued under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The new protections do not constitute the comprehensive framework that CDT has recommended, but they take positive steps in that direction. CDT will be…

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Domestic Intelligence System Grows without Controls

Without a definitive decision to do so, and without adequate guidelines or limits, government agencies at the federal, state and local level are creating a vast domestic intelligence apparatus. The concerns long posed by domestic spying are magnified by the digital revolution, which makes it easier than ever to collect, store, exchange and retrieve personally identifiable information, making it available far removed from the context in which it was…

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