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Proposed or enacted privacy-related legislation on a national level. For legislation on national ID cards, see the National ID section.

Court strikes down bank privacy law
"Federal law trumps California's law restricting financial institutions from distributing information about their customers to affiliated businesses, a U.S. District Court judge ruled Tuesday."
Full story - San Jose Business Journal
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Oct 5 14:02:44 EDT 2005

Another data security bill in the works
"Rep. Mike Castle, a Delaware Republican, said at a Visa cardholder security conference here that he plans to introduce "in the next couple of days" a revised version of the bill that he has been working on since February with the U.S. House of Representatives financial-services subcommittee."
Full story - ZD Net
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Oct 5 13:53:07 EDT 2005

ACLU files emergency appeal in Patriot Act case
"The Supreme Court was asked yesterday to let libraries speak out about FBI demands for their records in a case involving the Patriot Act. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the emergency appeal, on behalf of an anonymous client, but the paperwork is censored and gives few details."
Full story - First Amendment Center
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Oct 5 08:41:07 EDT 2005

Bill would boost military's power to spy on citizens
"Pentagon intelligence operatives would be allowed to collect information from U.S. citizens without disclosing their status as government spies under legislation approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee."
Full story - (reg. req.)
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Oct 3 08:32:33 EDT 2005

Bill would expand U.S. DNA database
"DNA from tens of thousands of suspected illegal immigrants, captives in the war on terrorism and others who have been arrested but not convicted of federal crimes could be added to a national database of convicts' DNA under a proposal the Senate is likely to vote on soon."
Full story - USA Today
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Oct 3 08:25:19 EDT 2005

U.S. no help in quest for database security law
"Lead, follow or get out of the way. It's not a particularly gracious sentiment, but when it comes to our federal government's role in protecting our privacy, it certainly is apt. To date, Washington has proven itself either unable or unwilling to take the lead in protecting our personal privacy."
Full story -
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Oct 3 08:10:09 EDT 2005

Librarians Protest Patriot Act
"The American Library Association and the American Civil Liberties Union joined forces today to urge Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales to allow a Connecticut library group that received an order under the Patriot Act to publicly talk about the experience."
Full story - The Chronicle
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Sep 28 15:19:17 EDT 2005

Tweaking Patriot Act to limit snooping (opinion)
"... The Senate bill restores some modest checks on the expanded powers Congress gave the government in 2001 and will go a long way toward preserving the liberties that are the cornerstones of American democracy."
Full story - Mercury News
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 27 14:56:04 EDT 2005

Proposal shields conversations of sexual assault victims
"Counselors could refuse to release details of sessions with rape victims to military courts under legislation introduced in Congress this week. Currently, those conversations and other medical records are not private information in a military investigation."
Full story - Stars and Stripes
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Sep 24 10:52:38 EDT 2005

Senate Turns Attention to Data Privacy
"The Senate Judiciary Committee expects to vote next week on legislation making it a crime for data brokers to conceal a security breach involving personal data and increasing penalties for computer fraud when the act involves personal data."
Full story -
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Sep 24 10:48:41 EDT 2005

Bill Would Permit DNA Collection From All Those Arrested
"Suspects arrested or detained by federal authorities could be forced to provide samples of their DNA that would be recorded in a central database under a provision of a Senate bill to expand government collection of personal data."
Full story - Washington Post (reg. req.)
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Sep 24 10:43:58 EDT 2005

Data Privacy Bills Worry DMA 'If They Go in the Wrong Direction'
"Several data security and breach notification bills in various congressional committees could become "very dangerous if they go in the wrong direction," the Direct Marketing Association said yesterday."
Full story - DMNews
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Sep 23 08:57:40 EDT 2005

Roberts Vote Could Stall Data Privacy Law
"... If the Judiciary Committee decides this morning to send Judge John Roberts nomination to the full Senate, the panel may have enough time to consider the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act of 2005. Then again, it might not."
Full story -
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 22 12:04:39 EDT 2005

Poll finds support of PATRIOT Act
"According to a new study performed by UConn's Center for Survey Research and Analysis (CSRA), a majority of Americans support the PATRIOT Act despite knowing little of the specific provisions made in it."
Full story - Daily Collegian
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 20 09:32:12 EDT 2005

Ninth Circuit extends Fourth Amendment rights to criminals awaiting trial
"The 2-1 decision held that police may not conduct a search based on less than probable cause of a defendant released and awaiting trial, even if that defendant has signed a waiver authorizing the government to do so. The case involved the common practice of defendants "signing away" their Fourth Amendment rights in order to secure bail."
Full story -
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Sep 12 19:31:35 EDT 2005

Italy Cabinet OKs Reform on Phone Taps
"Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi's Cabinet approved a bill Friday to limit the use of phone taps, legislation prompted after conversations recorded during a bank takeover investigation were leaked to the media this summer. The measure, which still must be approved by parliament, limits the use of phone taps against people not formally under investigation for serious crimes such as terrorism and Mafia association."
Full story -
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Sep 9 17:18:21 EDT 2005

Wide net for tough terror laws
"TERROR suspects could be fitted with tracking devices and anyone who preaches violence could be thrown in jail under tough anti-terror laws unveiled by the Howard Government yesterday."
Full story - The Australian
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 8 11:34:54 EDT 2005

CDT Policy Post 11.21: Congress Considers Data Security Legislation
"... CDT believes that any data privacy and security legislation that emerges from this Congress must represent a meaningful step forward, from a consumer perspective, over what states are already doing. CDT would oppose legislation that addressed the recent spate of data security breaches in an unduly narrow manner or in a way that resulted in consumers having weaker protections than those afforded under current state laws."
Full story - CDT
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Sep 7 17:47:07 EDT 2005

Federal regulations impacting gay sites again stalled
"... The Free Speech Coalition is suing U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to prevent the Department of Justice from enforcing new regulations to U.S.C. 2257, dubbed "2257," which mandates producers verify the ages of models, actors and others appearing in sexually explicit content and keep thorough records on them, including address, photo identification and their legal names."
Full story - Washington Blade
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 6 13:28:06 EDT 2005

'Creepy' law clears way to track you via laptop, cellphone
"Police and security agencies would be able to surreptitiously track unwitting Canadians via their cellphones, BlackBerries and laptop computers, even when the devices are turned off or their location features are disabled, under a "creepy" measure contemplated as part of the federal government's planned electronic surveillance bill."
Full story -
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 6 09:27:13 EDT 2005

An ID-Theft Crackdown Gains Momentum
"Count Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), a feisty foe of Big Government, as a new believer in federal action to thwart identity theft."
Full story - BusinessWeek Online
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 6 09:20:38 EDT 2005

Wider use of electoral roll raises privacy concerns
"The UK Government intends that voters will register their address with the security services, police and other public bodies when they register for the vote according to proposed regulations from the Department of Constitutional Affairs (DCA). The Police and Credit Reference Agencies already have full access to the register for policing and credit purposes respectively. But a new consultation document published by the DCA reveals plans to extend these rights of access."
Full story -
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Sep 5 10:07:13 EDT 2005

Congress looks to pass data breach law
"The U.S. Congress will look to pass consumer data protection legislation as it returns next week from its mid-year recess, but if Congress fails to act, a tough new state law will force interstate companies to disclose virtually all data breaches, no matter how small the risk. A New York data breach law, signed by Governor George Pataki on Aug. 10, would take effect in mid-December. New York, the 19th state to pass a data breach notification law, would allow no exceptions for companies that have their own disclosure policies."
Full story - Infoworld
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Sep 2 23:37:39 EDT 2005

Police blotter: Cell phone tracking rejected
"In the first case of its kind, a federal judge chastises the U.S. Department of Justice for trying to constantly track a cell phone user's location without providing any proof of criminal behavior."
Full story - CNet News
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Sep 2 18:14:28 EDT 2005

Court grudgingly bans strip-search
"Habersham County jailers ran afoul of the Constitution when they conducted blanket strip-searches of pretrial detainees, the federal appeals court in Atlanta has found. In a ruling issued Wednesday, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reluctantly reached that conclusion in a case brought by Janet Hicks, who was arrested in April 2001 and then strip-searched by a female employee of the Habersham Sheriff's Department. The 11th Circuit said it was bound by legal precedent to find that indiscriminate strip-searches violate the Fourth Amendment's guarantee against unreasonable searches."
Full story -
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 1 19:48:54 EDT 2005

Privacy, libraries at issue
"A Connecticut librarian wants to tell Congress how an FBI demand for patrons' records under the Patriot Act has harmed him and violated his right to free speech in the name of national security. But the librarian may have to hold his silence unless U.S. District Court Judge Janet Hall lifts a gag order that bars him and his employer from revealing who they are. The Patriot Act prevents them from disclosing that the FBI served them with a demand for electronic patrons' records."
Full story - ConnPost
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 1 08:43:25 EDT 2005

Ban on violent net porn planned
"Possessing and accessing extreme internet pornography could become illegal under government proposals. Distribution of extreme pornography is illegal in the UK but this does not affect foreign websites, so new laws could ban possession of it in Britain."
Full story - BBC
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 30 08:43:16 EDT 2005

Secrecy Shrouds Patriot Act Powers
"As the U.S. Congress prepares to vote on the final version of a reauthorised USA Patriot Act, a major civil rights group claims to have proof that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has used the law to snoop into people's library records -- a charge the FBI has vigorously denied since the Act was passed in 2001."
Full story - IPS
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Aug 29 17:27:49 EDT 2005

Committee proposes law against video voyeurism
"Alarmed by use of mobile phones to capture and spread pornographic materials, an expert committee has proposed stiff penalties against such crimes, it was disclosed here Monday. The panel, set up by Communications and IT Minister Dayanidhi Maran, also favoured incorporation of a new section in the IT Act 2000 to address child pornography with higher punishment, a globally accepted offence."
Full story -
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Aug 29 13:50:47 EDT 2005

Patriot Act renewal gives government too much power (editorial)
"Gov. Pataki last week steamed with indignation over surreptitious taping of phone conversations, complaining that laws had been violated. But in the somewhat unusual sight of a ticked-off governor, one could see something else: the anger of a person whose privacy had been breached. Perhaps if more people in high places felt the sting of private moments violated, support for the most intrusive provisions of the USA Patriot Act would wither and die."
Full story - Democrat & Chronicle
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Aug 28 08:37:43 EDT 2005

A Public Fight over Privacy
"The recent spate of high-profile data security breaches has given new momentum to congressional efforts to prevent identity theft. With no fewer than six bills under consideration in the Senate or House, data brokers, credit card companies and others are battling consumer groups over how strong and how broad a final bill should be."
Full story - YubaNet
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Aug 25 15:28:30 EDT 2005

Is the Real ID Act the real deal for ID security?
"... Critics of the Real ID Act have voiced concerns regarding the issue of civil liberties, privacy and the government acting as Big Brother. From a technology point of view, the critics are most concerned with the potential of data breaches at the Department of Motor Vehicles that could expose sensitive data about individuals. While the collection of personal information is not new and has traditionally been stored in databases, what is new is the linkage among state databases. In effect, the mandates of the act would lead to a national database to house personal data that potentially could be targeted by hackers for malicious use."
Full story - ComputerWorld
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Aug 24 17:17:56 EDT 2005

ID Theft Disclosure Law Worries Advocates
"If your credit card information were stolen as part of a major online heist, wouldn't you want to know? In the last few years, 19 states have enacted laws requiring credit card companies, financial institutions and other parties dealing with personal data to notify individuals when their information is breached. But advocates of full disclosure say a movement is afoot in Washington to weaken these laws by giving companies more flexibility over whether or not they have to notify customers."
Full story - Fox News
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Aug 24 17:12:58 EDT 2005

The Right to Privacy (opinion)
"If, according to extreme textualists, the right to privacy is not explicitly established in the Constitution, why not fix that and pressure Congress to pass an amendment guaranteeing it?"
Full story - TPMCafe
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Aug 24 16:57:12 EDT 2005

AU Media regulator sets new privacy guidelines
"Australia's media regulator has launched guidelines to help broadcasters avoid potential privacy problems in dealing with the public. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) today released its Privacy Guidelines for Broadcasters, intended to protect people in the public eye."
Full story - The Age
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 23 16:21:20 EDT 2005

Hitler's Germany Revisited in Canada?
"Canadian Action Party Takes Stand Against Proposed New Police Powers. Connie Fogal, Leader of CAP, says "'NO' to an impending federal law to give police and national security agencies new powers to eavesdrop on cellphone calls and monitor the Internet activities of Canadians.""
Full story - Canadian Democratic Party
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 23 16:06:37 EDT 2005

Ottawa to give police more power to snoop
"The federal government will introduce legislation this fall that would... allow police to demand that Internet service providers hand over a wide range of information on the surfing habits of individuals, including on-line pseudonyms"
Full story -
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Aug 19 12:11:24 EDT 2005

The State of Privacy Regulation
"... While corporations have been taking matters into their own hands to better protect sensitive company information, CIOs should also understand the laws governing the handling of sensitive customer data. An assortment of new state and federal legislation has been rolled out -- and additional laws may be on the horizon -- to curb the potential for such substantial customer data loss. Here is an update on privacy regulations that impact businesses..."
Full story - ITWorld
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Aug 18 20:13:36 EDT 2005

Wiretap the Internet? Not So Fast, Say Some
"The Center for Democracy & Technology, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and others said last week that they are considering legal challenges to an Aug. 5 decision by the Federal Communications Commission to require providers of certain broadband and interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol services to accommodate law enforcement wiretaps in their designs and applications... "If you build it, they will come - hackers, criminals, etc.," said cyberlaw practitioner Albert Gidari of Seattle's Perkins Coie. "The 'they' is a very, very long list.""
Full story -
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Aug 18 11:19:06 EDT 2005

Proposed bugging law a big headache for HK's leader
"Hong Kong's government is to propose a new law in coming months to give its crime fighters sweeping powers to conduct covert surveillance, the first bold move by leader Donald Tsang since he took office in June."
Full story - The Star
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 16 11:34:22 EDT 2005

India: New IT Act to block child porn
"The government is amending the IT Act to include punishment for pushing child pornography into cyberspace. Going by the proposals in the draft, likely to be finalised after this week's crucial meeting of the expert committee, "publishing or transmitting child pornography through electronic communications" could attract imprisonment of at least three years, which could go up to seven years in case of repeat offence."
Full story - Indiatimes Infotech
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 16 02:47:48 EDT 2005

AU: Privacy laws may be tightened
"Privacy laws may be strengthened to protect people from having their personal details sold on the black market. The Federal Government said yesterday said it would look carefully at imposing clearer obligations on Australian companies that subcontracted to foreign ones. This emerged after it was revealed that the personal details of some Australians had been offered for sale."
Full story - The Age (reg. req.)
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Aug 15 10:43:35 EDT 2005

Other resources on LEGISLATION: NATIONAL:
  • OMB Guidance for Implementing the Privacy Provisions of the E-Government Act of 2002
  • Data Protection Act 1998 (UK)
  • Regulation of Investigatory Powers Information Centre
  • Privacy Commissioner of Australia
  • UK legislation - HMSO
  • Privacy Commissioner of Canada
  • Thomas Legislative Information (look up US legislation)
  • Guidance to the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003

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    FTC Brings Charges Against Company Flagged In CDT Complaint
    From The Federal Trade Commission announced today that it had brought charges against Odysseus Marketing, publisher of a software product called ClientMan. The Center for Democracy & Technology had first identified ClientMan as one ...
    Read more

    FaceTime Identifies Fake Google Toolbar Propagated Thru Instant Messaging and Internet Relay Chat
    FaceTime today warns users about malicious links being spread through instant messaging (IM) and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) which downloads a rogue, fake Google toolbar and adware on users machines and re-directs users to a ...
    Read more

    Want to check your e-mail in Italy? Bring your passport.
    ROME - An antiterror law makes Internet cafe managers check their clients' IDs and track the websites they visit... After Italy passed a new antiterrorism package in July, authorities ordered managers offering public communications ...
    Read more

    Start-up getting financing for fingerprint technology
    A San Francisco start-up, Pay By Touch Solutions, is expected to announce today $130 million in fresh financing for a novel way of paying for groceries and other goods and services: a machine that reads ...
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    Court strikes down bank privacy law
    Federal law trumps California's law restricting financial institutions from distributing information about their customers to affiliated businesses, a U.S. District Court judge ruled Tuesday...
    Read more

    FTC Targets Company Secretly Installing Spyware that Can't Be Uninstalled
    Odysseus Marketing and its principal, Walter Rines, advertised software they claimed would allow consumers to engage in peer-to-peer file sharing anonymously... The agency charges that the claims are bogus. First, the software does not make ...
    Read more

    Another data security bill in the works
    Rep. Mike Castle, a Delaware Republican, said at a Visa cardholder security conference here that he plans to introduce "in the next couple of days" a revised version of the bill that he has been ...
    Read more

    Government Cracks Down On Spyware Operation
    Government regulators are trying to shut down a company they say secretly downloaded spyware onto the computers of unwitting Internet users, rendering them helpless to a flood of pop-up ads, computer crashes and other annoyances...
    Read more

    Touch-screen voters feel exposed
    ... The Diebold machines - which will be installed at voting precincts throughout Utah by 2006 - sit atop stands and have tilt-top screens and plastic covers that can be adjusted. But some voters felt ...
    Read more

    Protect, don't suffocate me on ID theft (opinion)
    I am not myself these days. I don't know who I am, but I am definitely not myself. A lady on the phone as much as told me so. This was after she had given ...
    Read more

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