Data Mining Bill Voted out of Committee

The Senate Judiciary Committee sent S236, the Federal Agency Data Mining Reporting Act of 2007 to the Senate floor by a voice vote. The bill, which we posted about earlier this year, would require the federal government to report annually on the development and use of technologies that would mine data for patterns of criminal or terrorist activity. Any classified, sensitive or proprietary information on data mining would be placed in an annex not available to the public. According to this afternoon’s edition of Technology Daily, the main debate in this morning’s markup was over penalties for leaking material in the annex. The debate focused not on having penalties, but whether or not existing laws covered such leaks.

This bill specifically focuses on the federal government and technologies that it develops for data mining. No legislation currently covers any commerically developed or implemented technologies, though they would be covered under the bill if the federal government made use of them. The full Senate will consider the legislation at a later date.

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