News
News
5/20/2004
06:24 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Democrats' Bill Combines Homeland Security And Civil Liberties

The bill, known as the Shield Privacy Act, aims to protect liberties and privacy while improving national security.

House Democrats on Thursday introduced the Strengthening Homeland Innovation by Emphasizing Liberty, Democracy, and Privacy Act, known as the Shield Privacy Act. The bill aims to improve homeland security while protecting civil liberties.

"It's about protecting the individual rights of all Americans--life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Fla., a member of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, said in a conference call with the media. "While we're pursuing [the security of our nation], it's important that we take into account the impact on our fundamental freedoms. We're trying to be proactive in heading off major privacy violations by the government that all Americans support through their tax dollars."

The Shield Privacy Act would create a presidentially appointed "privacy czar" in the Office of Management and Budget to coordinate federal privacy policies. It would also create chief privacy officers within other federal and independent agencies. Finally, it would set up a Commission on Privacy, Freedom, and Homeland Security to study U.S. efforts to advance homeland security in a manner that protects privacy, civil liberties, and individual freedoms.

The commission, to last 24 months, would be charged with reporting on how agencies are assessing, and should assess, the privacy implications of new homeland-security technologies prior to deployment. It will also review and make recommendations on how the government uses individual personal information from commercial databases and lists.

"As it relates to technology, we're having a lot of problems in dealing with the privacy issue," Meek said. "This will send an even stronger signal to Silicon Valley, and to the private sector, that the federal government [values] individual privacy." He said he hopes the commission would offer technology companies some guidance as to how best to respect privacy in their products.

While Meek observed that privacy is an issue that both Republicans and Democrats care about, the 25 co-sponsors of the bill so far are uniformly from the Democratic side of the aisle. "As we continue to talk about this legislation and talk about the importance of privacy," Meek said, "I'm pretty sure that members of the Republican side will take part in it."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business really views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. Our results suggest IT leaders should worry less about whether they're getting enough resources and more about the relationships they have with business unit peers.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014
InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A roundup of the top stories and trends on InformationWeek.com
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.