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Senators Introduce Bill in Response to EFF’s Call for New Protections Against Secret Video Surveillance

19 April, 2010 (13:18) | Tech | By: Brian

Senators Introduce Bill in Response to EFF’s Call for New Protections Against Secret Video Surveillance | Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Wow, that was fast: little more than two weeks after EFF testified to a Senate subcommittee that federal electronic privacy law needs to be updated to protect against secret video surveillance just like it regulates electronic eavesdropping, Senator Arlen Specter has responded by introducing a bill to do just that.

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s blog. Good news for those who equate privacy with liberty.  (For those who don’t, go watch Brazil and get back to me.) This bill is a response to a school district in Pennsylvania that was using the web-cams of the laptops they issued to students to take pictures of those students at home. This almost makes me want to move to PA, just to vote for Specter.

As long as we’re talking about policy makers and privacy I’ll give a nod to Tom Watson. He’s a UK Labour Member of Parliament, who led the fight against the Digital Economy Bill and has started his campaign for re-election. He’s working on a list of pledges for his views on internet and privacy issues. Of course it’s filled with some wishy-washy politician-speak and isn’t really as strong as I’d like, but it’s a solid start. Unfortunately most of these beliefs would be political suicide in the U.S. government.

  1. I will support and campaign for more transparency in the public and private sector.
  2. I will oppose measures that unjustly deny people’s access to the Internet.
  3. Whilst noting the acknowledged limitations, I believe people have the right to free speech on the Internet.
  4. I will support all measures that allow people access to their personal data held by others. I further support restoration of control over how personal data is gathered, managed and shared to the individual.
  5. I will use my role as an MP to support international free expression movements.
  6. The Internet shall be built and operated openly and without discrimination.
  7. I will support all measures to bring non-personal public data into the public domain.
  8. I will support all proposals that lead to greater numbers joining the digital world and oppose measures that reduce it.
  9. I believe that copyright and software patent laws should be reformed to reflect the needs of citizens in the Internet age.

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