Privacy is in the House

Thursday, 12 February 2004, 10:40 AM EST

For the third year in a row, a bipartisan congressional coalition is pushing a bill that would require all government agencies to study the privacy impact of new rules before they put them into effect.

The Defense of Privacy Act (PDF), which was approved by a House subcommittee on Tuesday, would complement the E-Government Act of 2001, which requires agencies to submit privacy impact assessments whenever they buy new technology.

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) introduced the bill. It is backed by three Republicans and a handful of Democrats, including Rick Boucher (D-Virginia), who many consider to be the Internet's best friend in Congress.

Former Republican Rep. Bob Barr, who now works with the ACLU, introduced a similar bill, known as the Federal Agency Protection of Privacy Act, in 2002. Barr's bill and a similar one introduced in 2003 passed the House of Representatives, but were never taken up by the Senate.

By Ryan Singel at Wired.

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