Monthly Archives: April 2005

Senate Dumps Real ID Act, But Legislation is Far From Dead

Update 4/28/05: Proving that Congress can move quickly when it needs to, is reporting (sub. req.) that conferees on the supplemental appropriations bill are close to a deal. Earlier in the week Senator Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was quoted as saying that immigration provisions in the supplemental were likely to be included in [...]

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EAC Seeks Advice On Voting Databases, ACM Provides Expert Testimony

ACM recently formed a committee of experts (names and affiliations below) to provide states with guidance on implementing statewide voter-registration databases. Today the Committee outlined its efforts before the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), which is seeking input on its proposed guidance to the states regarding these databases.

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High-Performance Computing Legislation Passes House

Today the House of Representatives passed the High-Performance Computing Revitalization Act. USACM and the Computing Research Association (CRA) praised the House’s action. USACM Chair Gene Spafford commented: “IT R&D — and especially investment in basic research and infrastructure — is an investment that pays enormous dividends. It fuels innovation that will help the U.S. retain [...]

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Alleged ID theft at DC Blockbuster

From an article in this morning’s Washington Post: A former employee of the Blockbuster video store in [Washington's] Dupont Circle [neighborhood] has been indicted on charges of stealing customers’ identities, then using them to buy more than $117,000 in trips, electronics and other goods, including a Mercedes-Benz. A grand jury charged that Miles N. Holloman [...]

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Soaries resigning from Election Assistance Commission

Current Election Assistance Commission (EAC) member and former EAC chairman DeForest B. Soaries Jr. recently announced his resignation from the EAC, citing, among other things, dissatisfaction with the level of support the EAC has received from the federal government: “All four of us had to work without staff, without offices, without resources,” Mr. Soaries said. [...]

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Chairman Barton speaks out again on protecting personal information

The New York Times recently ran an editorial pointing out how crucial California’s data breach notification law has been in bringing to light the current vulnerabilities of personal information:

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WSJ article points to relative weakness of US online banking security

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) has an article today that describes how many European banks have tighter security for online banking:

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E-Voting Issues Heat Up In DC This Week

Washington D.C. hosts two major voting-policy events this week. First, the Carter/Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform kicked-off its first hearing yesterday, part of a six month effort to study the 2004 elections and make recommendations to policymakers. The Commission is led by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker and [...]

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Data brokers continue to face intense scrutiny from lawmakers

Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) presided over a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday looking further into recent breaches of personal information at data brokers like ChoicePoint, LexisNexis, and Acxiom. The hearing served to deepen the sense in Washington that Congressional action to regulate data brokers and the commercial use of personal information is inevitable at this [...]

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Questions (and suggestions) about DHS CPO

Declan McCullagh’s most recent article provides some interesting insight into the power and effectiveness of the Department of Homeland Security’s Chief Privacy Officer (CPO), Nuala O’Connor Kelly. The article seems to reinforce the notion that privacy concerns aren’t always taken as seriously within DHS as they are within other organizations that have CPOs: Nuala O’Connor [...]

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USACM writes to policymakers in Hawaii on e-voting

USACM today sent a letter to state policymakers in Hawaii to call their attention to the e-voting statement that ACM adopted last year. The letter seeks to offer USACM’s technical and policy input as electronic voting legislation works its way through the Hawaii legislature (something that’s currently going on in many state legislatures across the [...]

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From bad to worse

If you were thinking that the controversy over recent large-scale data breaches and identity theft was settling down into a nice orderly policy debate, think again: LexisNexis Data on 310,000 People Feared Stolen NEW YORK/AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Data broker LexisNexis said Tuesday that personal information may have been stolen on 310,000 U.S. citizens, or nearly [...]

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States Scramble To Protect Data

“Legislatures in more than two dozen states are considering ways to give consumers more control over personal information that is collected and sold by private firms, but many of the proposals are drawing fire from financial services companies. Bills are on the table in 28 states responding to a series of high-profile security breaches at [...]

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The Fight For R&D Funding Begins on the Hill

Congressmen Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) and Rush Holt (D-NJ) are circulating their annual letter regarding National Science Foundation (NSF) funding and are asking that their colleagues join the fight. The letter requests $6.1 billion for the agency — an increase of $627 million from last year. Remember that last year NSF’s funding was cut. Given the [...]

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DHS privacy chief advises new panel to focus on due process, redress

Wednesday (April 6) saw the first meeting of the Department of Homeland Security’s new Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee (the creation of which we covered earlier here). The 20-member committee will be led by the Heritage Foundation’s Paul Rosenzweig (chair) and Lisa Sotto (vice chair), a Hunton and Williams partner. The committee heard from [...]

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USACM Questions Real ID Act’s Security Standards

Citing the increased risk of identity theft the proposed Real ID Act would create, today USACM sent a letter (HTML, PDF) to Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) expressing its concerns about the legislation. Last week, Senator Alexander penned an op-ed stating that while he wasn’t necessarily opposed to national IDs, the Real ID Act wasn’t the [...]

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Senate Balks at Real ID Act

Congressional Quarterly is reporting (subscription required) that the Senate will strip the Real ID Act from the supplemental appropriations bill when it considers the legislation in committee next week. Ultimately this means that the House and Senate will battle over this provision during conference negotiations, which should happen quickly after Senate passage.

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