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Regulators, Privacy Interests Debate Credit-Reporting Law
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Regulators, Privacy Interests Debate Credit-Reporting Law

BY Drew Clark

Congress should not permit a law governing credit reporting to expire at the end of the year because of the law's strong consumer benefits, three federal and state financial-services regulators told a congressional panel on Wednesday. But those regulators -- from the Federal Reserve Bank, National Association of Insurance Commissioners and Conference of State Bank Supervisors -- were challenged by Julie Brill, assistant attorney general of Vermont, who said Congress should let the law lapse. Brill, who is co-chairwoman of the privacy working group of the National Association of Attorneys General, said the current credit-granting system is not uniform and that states like Vermont with stricter pre-existing laws have not suffered because of them. Brill found a receptive ear among Democrats on the House Financial Services Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee in the second of a series of hearings on the Fair Credit Reporting Act. "Sometimes this discussion sounds a little Orwellian to me," said Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee ranking member Bernard Sanders, I-Vt. "The people who say they trust the states to do the best job" change their mind when businesses say federal pre-emption of tougher state laws is necessary. When subcommittee Chairman Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., questioned Brill's stance in light of Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan's support for the extension, Sanders interjected, "In Vermont, some of us do, occasionally, dispute Chairman Greenspan." The industry and broader business communities are mounting a major lobbying push this year to extend the FCRA pre-emption Congress enacted in 1996. Business groups worry that failure to reauthorize the extensions would lop a full percentage point off the gross domestic product and limit consumers' ability to get quick loan decisions. But privacy and consumer advocates say that states need to fight for stricter privacy laws and that the 1996 act may have spurred an increase in identity theft. Howard Beales, director of the FTC's Consumer Protection Bureau, said on Wednesday that the agency's five commissioners have no official position. But a solid majority of those who testified on Wednesday urged extending the pre-emption. They represented groups such as the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Allstate, the National Multi-Housing Counsel, Citizens for a Sound Economy and the major credit-bureau companies. Opponents included the U.S. Public Research Interest Group and National Fair Housing Alliance, and a trial attorney with the National Association of Consumer Advocates.

06/05/2003
Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee hearing on "Fair Credit Reporting Act: How it Functions for Cons…
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Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee hearing on "Fair Credit Reporting Act: How it Functions for Cons…

< p>Howard Beales, director, Bureau of Consumer Affairs, Federal Trade Commission; Dolores Smith, director, Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Gregory Serio, superintendent of insurance, State of New York, representing the National Association of Insurance Commissioners; Julie Brill, assistant attorney general, State of Vermont; Joseph Smith, commissioner of Banks, State of North Carolina, representing the Conference of State Bank Supervisors; Ramon Rodriguez, COO, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Kevin Sullivan, vice preside

06/04/2003
Verizon Pursues Appeal of RIAA Subpeona As Opposition Grows
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Verizon Pursues Appeal of RIAA Subpeona As Opposition Grows

Backed by growing number of allies, Verizon said Thurs. it would appeal decision permitting RIAA to use subpoena issued under Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to uncover identity of subscriber said to be committing massive online copyright infringement. At news briefing, company said it would ask U.S. Dist Court, D.C., to stay its Jan. 21 order pending appeal to U.S. Appeals Court, D.C. Case, RIAA v. Verizon Internet Services, is considered test case on DMCA subpoena power. Verizon is seeking stay so it doesn't have to turn over personal information about its subscriber, as it was ordered to do by lower court, Verizon Senior Vp-Deputy Gen. Counsel John Thorne SAID. In its appeal, Verizon will argue that: (1) Art. III of Constitution confines federal court power -- including subpoena power -- to "cases and controversies," something that it said was lacking in this situation because RIAA never filed actual lawsuit. (2) First Amendment grants citizens right to speak anonymously. (3) DMCA subpoena provision doesn't apply to people who merely use Internet to view Web sites or send e-mail. Legal issue, Thorne said, is whether private parties can compel disclosure of who someone is and where the person lives based on an Internet address. Safeguards that apply in normal subpoena cases aren't present here, Thorne said, because RIAA is suing "software agents" or "bots" that scour Internet looking for potential infringers and then generate take-down notices. Issue goes beyond copyright, he said, because if trial court's decision is left standing, stalkers, strangers and anyone else will be able to obtain user's identity via DMCA's automated process. Verizon met with RIAA last week to ask group's approval for seeking stay, Thorne said. Not only did RIAA refuse -- saying it wanted immediate enforcement of decision -- but it told Verizon volume of subpoenas it anticipated being issued would be so large that it needed to link to Verizon's computers to facilitate transfer of identifying information. That's a "nonstarter," Thorne said. RIAA said it would, "not surprisingly," oppose Verizon's request for stay. Court had rejected Verizon's claims and company shouldn't "be permitted to ignore a law Judge Bates thought clear," said Matthew Oppenheim, RIAA senior vp- business & legal affairs. "It's a shame that Verizon has resorted to mischaracterizations and consumer scare tactics, a trait we understand they are well known for in public policy debates. Just ask some of the small, local telephone and DSL providers." Verizon has received support from several groups. At briefing Thurs., Consumer Federation of America (CFA) Research Dir. Mark Cooper said consumers considered this a "big case." DMCA is "bad law and bad policy," he said: It's unconstitutional and destroys the "open, dynamic environment the Internet was." While "real police" have to convince judge or magistrate of need for subpoena, he said, "Internet KGB" doesn't. CFA believes in enforcing copyright traditional way, he said, and DMCA destroys consumers' faith in balance between consumer rights and copyrights. Peter Swire, who was Clinton Administration's chief counselor for privacy and is now law prof. at Ohio State U.'s Moritz College of Law, said he would file declaration on behalf of Verizon arguing that what RIAA was doing was invasion of privacy. Under DMCA, he said, once Web site picked up someone's address, anyone could gain access to it without due process or judicial supervision. "I've never seen any provision like this," he said. Law opens door to scenarios in which either subpoenas are filed fraudulently or there's an arguable copyright claim, he said. Verizon's decision to appeal was hailed by many. Alliance for Public Technology said online privacy must be protected. Digital Media Assn. Exec. Dir. Jonathan Potter called RIAA's action "another court test of the customer- monitoring and policing obligations of all [ISPs] and connected digital services." Public Knowledge said it supported enforcement of copyright laws to limit illegal peer-to-peer file-swapping, but "these laws should not be enforced without due process." Allowing copyright owners to learn names of Internet users without any judicial imprimatur permits virtual "witch hunts" for defendants "presenting the worst facts of having profiles least likely to garner public or judicial sympathy," group said. Telecom Research & Action Center, telecom-focused consumer group, said it was concerned that giving up personal information without legal safeguards would "irrevocably harm consumers and ultimately the usefulness of online services." National Assn. of Consumer Agency Administrators said RIAA's subpoena "represents an issue of grave concerns to consumers and consumer advocates." Many consumers, it said, don't trust companies to keep their personal information private. American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), bipartisan organization of state legislators, urged court to stop RIAA from seeking identity of Verizon's subscriber. DMCA doesn't create class of property superior to tangible property, said Morgan Long, dir. of ALEC's telecom & information technology task force. "The property interests of RIAA are of not less significance constitutionally and statutorily than that of Verizon's own property rights and the property rights of its customers." Citizens for a Sound Economy branded trial court decision "neither proconsumer nor reasonable public policy." U.S. Internet Industry Assn. also criticized ruling, saying Congress never intended for copyright holders to have right to invade consumers' personal privacy without due process of law. World has changed since DMCA was enacted in 1998, CFA's Cooper said. At time, he said, no one thought act was aimed at home Internet users. If DMCA were "rattling around" now it would be viewed much differently," he said. -- Dugie Standeford

01/31/2003
Big Technology Firms Take on Hollywood Over Piracy
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Big Technology Firms Take on Hollywood Over Piracy

BY Rob Lever

Some of the biggest US technology firms joined Thursday with consumer organizations and others to fight Hollywood's demands for mandatory technology to prevent piracy of films and other digital entertainment. The new group, the Alliance for Digital Progress (ADP), includes Microsoft, Cisco, Intel and Apple, as well as several consumer groups, think tanks, taxpayer organizations and businesses.

01/23/2003
Big Technology Firms Take on Hollywood Over Piracy
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Big Technology Firms Take on Hollywood Over Piracy

BY Rob Lever

Big US tech firms joined Thursday with consumer groups and others to fight Hollywood's demands for mandatory technology to prevent piracy of films and other digital entertainment. The new coalition, the Alliance for Digital Progress (ADP), includes Microsoft, Cisco, Intel and Apple, as well as several consumer groups, think tanks, taxpayer organizations and other organizations. The alliance will lobby to dissuade Congress from passing laws requiring anti-piracy technology in computers, DVD players and other electronic devices. Alliance members say that they do not advocate distributing illegal copies, but that mandatory technology aimed at stopping piracy would be a solution worse than the problem. "Piracy of digital content is a serious, complex problem that concerns all of us," said Fred McClure, president of the alliance. "But government-designed and mandated technology that swaps the diversity of marketplace solutions for a 'one size fits all' approach is not the answer. Mandates are a mistake. A mandate will raise the price of everything from CD players and DVD players to personal computers. It will make the devices consumers own today obsolete. And it will stifle the innovation at the heart of digital progress." Consumers and technology groups have been concerned about possible legislation that could require technology that makes it hard to copy films or music or make it impossible to play DVDs on more than one device. "We are greatly concerned that Hollywood is trying to pressure Congress into forcing technology mandates onto American consumers," McClure said. "Hollywood should be working with others in the private sector to develop solutions to the piracy problem that will succeed in the marketplace and benefit consumers." Although the music industry said recently it would stop lobbying efforts for such mandates, Hollywood's main lobby group, the Motion Picture Association of America, has maintained its policy. "Hollywood leaders like Jack Valenti (of the MPAA) would have organized the monks to burn down Gutenberg's printing press if they were alive during that period of rapid change and innovation," said Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America, a high-tech group that is part of the alliance. "Legislators have heard Hollywood's pleas to stifle innovation, but more education will help them make informed decisions. We look forward to working with ADP to make sure all sides are heard when it comes to digital rights management." The MPAA had no comment on the new alliance, but last week Valenti argued that Hollywood may split with the music industry on the issue. even though they have been united against swapping services like Napster. "The film and music industries are separate, unique enterprises with different strategies for addressing the outstanding issues concerning digital copy protection," Valenti said last week. "We are not prepared to abandon the option of seeking technical protection measures via the Congress or appropriate regulatory agency, when necessary." Valenti and other Hollywood executives have claimed piracy is one of the biggest threats to the industry, potentially costing billions of dollars and depriving creative artists of royalties. Digital rights advocates say Hollywood has cried wolf before, having sought special protection against videotapes when VHS technology arrived, but noted that the industry's 2002 revenues set a record for the third year running. The alliance includes several other tech firms including IBM, Dell Computer, Motorola and Hewlett Packard; and a hodgepodge of organizations including Americans for Tax Reform, Citizens Against Government Waste, Citizens for a Sound Economy, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the National Association of Manufacturers.

01/23/2003
U.S. Representative Spencer Bachus (R-AL) Holds Hearing on the Fair Credit Reporting Act
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U.S. Representative Spencer Bachus (R-AL) Holds Hearing on the Fair Credit Reporting Act

01/01/2003
Numerous Groups Back Verizon In Appeal of RIAA DMCA Subpoena
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Numerous Groups Back Verizon In Appeal of RIAA DMCA Subpoena

BY Dugie Standeford

The U.S. Appeals Court, D.C. should either strike down Sec. 512(h) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) as unconstitutional or read it to permit subpoenas forcing disclosure of the identity of alleged Internet infringers only in the course of a pending copyright case, 45 business and consumer groups said May 16. In an amicus brief filed in RIAA v. Verizon Internet Services, the groups -- which included ISPs, privacy advocates and consumer organizations - - said the key issue in the bitterly contested litigation between RIAA and Verizon was "whether fundamental First Amendment anonymity and privacy rights can be trampled with an unreviewed subpoena that is issued based on hastily generated paperwork and rests merely on a 'good-faith' allegation of copyright infringement." Although Verizon at first attacked Sec. 512(h) on other grounds, most recently it has insisted that the statute is unconstitutional on 2 grounds: (1) It authorizes federal courts to issue process in the absence of a case or controversy, in violation of Article III. (2) It abridges Internet users' free speech rights. However, the U.S. Dist. Court, D.C., ruled last month that neither argument had merit (WID April 25 p1). The court stayed both its order requiring Verizon to provide information on the subscriber named in the first subpoena and another order denying the ISP's motion to quash the 2nd subpoena, allowing the company to seek relief from the appellate court. The 45 amici criticized the lower court decision on several grounds. First, they said, there was no basis for the First Amendment analysis that because alleged copyright infringement was the expression targeted by Sec. 512(h), the First Amendment provided minimal protection: "Proven infringement of copyrights is not protected by the First Amendment, but allegations of copyright infringement are inherently no more reliable than allegations of obscenity, defamation or other types of unprotected speech." Copyright law necessarily implicates free speech, amici said, because it places significant restrictions on public debate and expression of ideas. The groups said, the court was wrong to suggest that Sec. 512(h) didn't directly affect political and other speech entitled to First Amendment protection by forcing disclosure of someone's identity and to "bless" the statute's "supposed procedural safeguards" as adequate to protect a user's speech and rights of association. The DMCA subpoena violates the Fifth Amendments's Due Process Clause, the groups said, because it: (1) Substantially affects private interests such as privacy and the right to anonymous speech. (2) Carries a substantial risk of being either misused or mistakenly applied to Internet users who aren't involved in infringement. (3) Wouldn't offend the legitimate interests of the govt. and content owners if additional safeguards were put in place. (4) Fails to require notice to individuals whose personal information is subpoenaed, give them an opportunity to be heard and to require prior judicial determination before process is issued. "After canvassing the area, the consumer amici cannot find a single state of federal statute or rule that permits a court subpoena to impinge upon First Amendment rights without either a lawsuit being filed (also required by Article III) or prior court approval," the groups wrote. To sidestep the "case or controversy" problem, they said, the appeals court should interpret Sec. 512(h) as "creating a supplemental subpoena procedure" that applies only in pending copyright infringement suits. Last week, Public Citizen urged the appeals court to make RIAA and Verizon follow the same procedures to protect Internet anonymous speech that courts had required in other cases (WID May 19 p8). On May 16 the D.C. Circuit gave RIAA until June 13 to file its brief and until June 20 to file its amici. Verizon's reply is due July 3, final briefs July 11. The case is set for oral argument Sept. 16 at 9:30 a.m. Business and consumer groups signing the joint filing include the Alliance for Public Technology, American Assn. of Law Libraries, American Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union Capital Area, American Legislative Exchange Council, American Library Assn., Assn. of Research Libraries, Caprica Internet Services, Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Computer & Communications Industry Assn., Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, DigitalConsumer.org, Digital Future Coalition, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Electronic Privacy Information Center, European Internet Industry Assn., Frontier & Citizens Communications Cos., InKeeper Co., Media Access Project, Mercury Network Corp., National Assn. of Consumer Agency Administrators, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, National Consumers League, National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, N.Y. State Telecommunications Assn. Inc.,e Pacific Research Institute, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Privacyactivism, Progressive Internet Action, Public Knowledge, SBC Internet Services, Southern Star, SticNet LP, Tex. Internet Service Providers Assn., U.S. Internet Industry Assn., U.S. Internet Service Provider Assn., U.S. Telecom Assn., Utility Consumers Action Network, Wash. Assn. of Internet Service Providers, WiredSafety.Org, and ZZAPP Internet Services.

01/01/2003
Today's Events In Washington
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Today's Events In Washington

PRESIDENT BUSH - Morning departure for Aqaba, Jordan; meets with Israeli Prime Minister Sharon; followed by meeting with Prime Minister Abbas; attends meeting with Sharon and Abbas in the afternoon; departs for Doha Qatar for overnight. VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY - No public schedule. US Senate: 2:30 a.m. SELECT INTELLIGENCE _ full Committee. Hearing on pending matters. Closed. Location: Room 219, Hart. 9:30 a.m. COMMERCE, SCIENCE AND TRANSPORTATION _ Full Committee. Hearing on FCC oversight. FCC commissioners Michael Powell, Kathleen Abernathy, Michael Copps, Kevin Martin and Jonathan Aldelstein. Location: Room 253, Russell. 9:30 a.m. FOREIGN RELATIONS _ Full Committee. Hearing on Iraq stabilization and reconstruction, focusing on international contributions and resources. Alan P. Larson, undersecretary of State for economic, business and agricultural affairs; Dov S. Zakheim, undersecretary of Defense; John B. Taylor, undersecretary of Treasury for international affairs; Andrew S. Natsios, director, U.S. Agency for International Development. Location: Room 419, Dirksen. 9:30 a.m. GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS _ Full Committee. Hearing on changes to the Defense Department personnel system. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld; Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Richard Myers; GAO Comptroller General David Walker, and Undersecretary of Defense Dr. David Chu. Location: Room 342, Dirksen. 10 a.m. ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES _ Public Lands and Forests Subcommittee. Hearing to receive testimony on S. 391, the Wild Sky Wilderness Act of 2003; S. 714, a bill to provide for the conveyance of a small parcel of Bureau of Land Management land in Douglas County, Ore., to the county to improvement management of and recreational access to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, and for other purposes; S. 924, to authorize the exhange of lands between an Alaska Native Village Corporation and the Department of the Interior, and for other purposes; S. 1003, to clarify the intent of Congress with respect to the continued use of established commercial outfitter hunting camps on the Salmon River; and H.R. 417, to revoke a Public Land Order with respect to certain lands erroneously included in the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, Calif. Location: Room 366, Dirksen. 10 a.m. INDIAN AFFAIRS _ Full committee. Hearing on pending legislation, including S. 281 (the Indian Tribal Surface Transportation Improvement Act of 2003) and S.725 (the Tribal Transportation Program Improvement Act of 2003). Location: Room 485, Russell. 10 a.m. JUDICIARY _ Full Committee. Hearing on S.1125, to create a fair and efficient system to resolve claims of victims for bodily injury caused by asbestos exposure. Attorney Laurence Tribe, Harvard Law School; Jennifer Biggs and Mark Peterson, Legal Analysis Systems, Thousand Oaks, Calif.; Fred Dunbar, Nartional Economic Research Associates; Eric Green, Boston University, Robert Harwick, Insurance Inforamtion Institute; James Crapo, National Jewish Medical Research Center, Denver; Laura Stewart Welsh, Center to Protect Workers Rights; John Parker, University of West Virginia Department of Medicine. Location: Room 216, Hart. 2 p.m. INDIAN AFFAIRS _ Full Committee. Hearing on tribal fish and wildlife management programs, and S. 281, Indian Tribal Surface Transportation Improvement Act of 2003. Bill Frank Jr., chairman, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission; Terry Williams, Tulalip Tribes; Bob Kelly, Nooksack Tribe; Ed Johnstone, Quinault Indian Nation; Olney Patt Jr., executive director, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Portland, Ore.; Warren Seyler, chairman, Upper Columbia United Tribes, Spokane, Wash.; Fred Matt, chairman, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation; Ira New Breast, executive director, Native American Fish and Wildlife Society; James E. Zorn, policy analyst, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission; Millard J. (Sonny) Myers, executive director, 1854 Authority; Jon Cooley, interim executive director, Southwest Tribal Fisheries Commission; Gordon Jackson, director, Business and Sustainable Development Central Council, Tlingit and Haida Indians of Alaska; Patty Brown- Schwalenberg, Chugach Regional Resource Commission; Tom Harris, president and CEO, Alaska Village Initiatives Inc. Location: Room 485, Russell. 2 p.m. SMALL BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP _ Full Committee. Hearing on SBA Reauthorization and the SBA budget request. SBA Administrator Hector Barreto. Location: Room 428A, Russell. US House: FLOOR SCHEDULE _ 10 a.m. _ Meets for legislative business. Highlights: Suspensions (4 bills): 1) H.Con.Res. 177 - Recognizing and commending the members of the United States Armed Forces and their leaders, and the allies of the United States and their armed forces, who participated in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq and recognizing the continuing dedication of military families and employers and defense civilians and contractors and the countless communities and patriotic organizations that lent their support to the Armed Forces during those operations; 2) H.Res. 201 - Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that our Nation's businesses and business owners should be commended for their support of our troops and their families as they serve our country in many ways, especially in these days of increased engagement of our military in strategic locations around our Nation and around the world; 3) H.R. 361 - Sports Agent Responsibility and Trust Act; 4) H.R. 1954 - Armed Forces Naturalization Act of 2003. H.R. 760 - Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. 10 a.m. AGRICULTURE _ Conservation, Credit, rural Development and Research Subcommittee. Hearing to review conservation tgechnical assistance and the implementation of the Conservation Title of the 2002 Farm Bill. Location: Room 1302, Longworth. 10 a.m. ENERGY AND COMMERCE _ Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee. Hearing on "Wireless E-911 Implementation: Progress and Remaining Hurdles." Location: Room 2123, Rayburn. 10 a.m. FINANCIAL SERVICES _ Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee. Hearing on the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Howard Beales, Director, Bureau of Consumer Affairs, Federal Trade Commission; Dolores Smith, Director of the Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Gregory V. Serio, Superintendent of Insurance, State of New York, on behalf of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners; William H. Sorrell, Attorney General, State of Vermont; Joseph A. Smith, Commissioner of Banks, State of North Carolina, on behalf of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors; Ramon Rodriguez, Chief Operating Officer, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Kevin T. Sullivan, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Government Relations, Allstate Insurance Company; Richard J. Rubin, Past President, on behalf of the National Association of Consumer Advocates; Julie A. Smith, President, Bozzuto Management Company, on behalf of the National Multi Housing Council and the National Apartment Association Joint Legislative Program; Clint Walker, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel, Juniper Bank; Flora Green, Lead Spokeswoman, The Seniors Coalition; Ed Mierzwinski, Consumer Program Director, U.S. Public Interest Research Group; Shanna L. Smith, Executive Director, National Fair Housing Alliance; Wayne T. Brough, Chief Economist, Citizens for a Sound Economy; David Lizarraga, President and CEO, TELACU; John A. Ford, Chief Privacy Officer, Equifax, Inc.; Cheryl St. John, Vice President, Fair Isaac Corporation; Anthony Rodriguez, Staff Attorney, National Consumer Law Center; Richard LeFebvre, President, AAA American Credit Bureau; Paul J. Wohkittel, III, President, Lenders' Credit Services, Inc., Director and Legislative Chair, National Credit Reporting Association; Tim Spainhour, Legal Compliance Leader, Acxiom Corporation. Location: Room 2128, Rayburn. 10 a.m. SCIENCE _ Full Committee. Markup of pending legislation. Location: Room 2318, Rayburn. 10 a.m. TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE _ Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee. Hearing on the water supplies of the 21st century. Boone Pickens, Mesa Water Inc.; Mayor Bob Young, Augusta, Ga., representing U.S. Conference of Mayors; William F. Mullican III, deputy executive administrator, Office of Planning, Texas Water Development Board; Joseph K. Hoffman, executive director, Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin; Peter H. Gleick, director, Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security; William E. Cox, assistant department head, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech. Location: Room 2167, Rayburn. 10:30 a.m. EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE _ 21st Century Competitiveness Subcommittee. Markup of pending legislation. Location: Room 2175, Rayburn. 10:30 a.m. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS _ Full Committee. Hearing on U.S. nonproliferation policy after Iraq. Undersecretary of State John Bolton; Henry D. Sokolski, executive director, Nonproliferation Policy Education Center; Fred C. Ikle, Center for Strategic and International Studies; Alan Zelikoff, senior scientist, Center for National Security and Arms Control, Sandia National Laboratory. Location: Room 2172, Rayburn. 2 p.m. EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE _ Employer-Employee Relations Subcommittee. Hearing on improving pensions security. Jack VanDerhei, Temple University, representing Employee Benefits Research Institute; John Leary, attorney, O'Donoghue and O'Donoghue, Washington, D.C.; Ron Gebhardtsbauer, senior pension fellow, American Academy of Actuaries; J. Mark Iwry, senior fellow, Brookings Institution. Location: Room 2175, Rayburn. 2 p.m. INTERNATIMONAL RELATIONS _ Africa Subcommittee. Markup of pending resolutions. Location: Room 2255, Rayburn. 2 p.m. TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE _ Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management Subcommittee. Hearing on reauthorization of the Economic Development Administration. David Sampson, assistant secretary of Commerce for economic development; Phillip A. Singerman, executive director, Maryland Technology Development Corporation; Mark R. Drabenstott, vice president and director, Center for the Study of Rural America, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Location: Room 2253, Rayburn. Other: TIKKUN-MIDEAST _ The Tikkun Community, describing itself as a progressive pro-Israel and pro-Palestine voice challenging the pro- Ariel Sharon lobby and its alliance with right-wing Christian Evangelicals, holds a Teach-In to Congress about Middle East Peace. Location: Capitol Hill Hyatt, 400 New Jersey Ave. NW. GARTNER IT SECURITY SUMMIT 2003 _ The Gartner IT Security Summit features experts in cyber and IT security from corporations, organizations and government agencies representing the five critical infrastructure sector groupings of transportation; energy, utilities and water; banking and financial services; telecommunications and information services; and vital health, safety and emergency services. Highlights: 10:45 a.m. Keynote speaker Adm. Stansfield Turner, USN (Ret.), former CIA director. Location: Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Ave. NW. ASSOCIATED BUILDERS AND CONTRACTORS _ Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) holds its Annual Legislative Conference. Highlights: 7 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Closed to media: Invocation and ABC grassroots member of the year; Rep. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.; Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio; Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo.; Ken Mehlman, campaign manager, Bush-Cheney 2004. Location: Capital Hilton, Presidential Ballroom, 1001 16th St. NW. FOREIGN ANIMALS-DISEASE _ Meeting of the Agriculture Secretary's Advisory Committee on Foreign Animal and Poultry Diseases, focusing on the U.S. animal health emergency management system and the foreign animal disease situation worldwide and its relevance to the U.S. Location: Conference Center at the USDA Center at Riverside, 4700 River Road, Riverdale, Md. NEW MARKETS-TAX CREDIT _ Novogradac & Co. LLP, a San Francisco-based national certified public accounting and consulting firm specializing in community development and affordable housing coast to coast, and others hold the New Markets Tax Credit Conference featuring NMTC allocation winners and 2003 and 2004 strategies to benefit non-allocatees. Location: The Fairmont Washington, 2401 M St. NW. PROGRESSIVE CONFERENCE _ The Campaign for America's Future holds a conference with national progressive leaders to address problems facing real people, with sessions on fundraising, web-based communications, grassroots organizing, constituency expansion, and candidate recruitment and training. Highlights: 2 p.m. Session on the new politics of engagement, with Robert Borosage, co-director, Campaign for America's Future; Stan Greenberg, CEO, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research; Wes Boyd, co-founder, MoveOn.Org. 3:30 p.m. Opening session plenary, with John Sweeney, president, AFL-CIO; Robert Reich, Brandeis University; Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.; Reg Weaver, president, NEA. 7 p.m. Gala awards dinner, with Bill Moyers, journalist, educator; Regena Thomas, organizer; Maria Elena Durazo, VP, HERE International Union; presentations by David Wellstone; emcee Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. Location: Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert St. NW. FTC-PERSONAL INFORMATION _ 7:30 a.m. - 5:15 p.m. The Federal Trade Commission holds a workshop on "The Business Experience," focusing on the role of technology in helping consumers and businesses to protect consumer information. Location: FTC Conference Center, 601 New Jersey Ave. NW. NTSB-TRANSPORTATION VEHICLE RECORDERS _ 8:30 a.m. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Society of Automotive Engineers host a symposium on transportation vehicle recorders, with manufacturers, operators, safety and regulatory officials, and other industry and government specialists to share the latest technical information and experience in the use of vehicle recorders. Topics for discussion include survivability, crashworthiness requirements, video/imaging technology, data privacy issues, acquiring data during regular commercial operations, and others. Workshops take place on aviation, highways, marine, and rail. Keynote speaker is Ellen Engleman, NTSB chairman. Location: Hilton Alexandria Old Town, 1767 King St., Alexandria, Va. MEDICAL MARIJUANA _ 8 a.m. The Americans for Safe Access organization holds a demonstration to protest the federal stance against all medical marijuana defenses in marijuana cases. Location: In front of the federal courthouse, 3rd St. and Constitution Ave. NW. U.S.-CANADA _ 8 a.m. The Canadian American Business Council holds a briefing on promotion of secure and prosperous relationship between the U.S. and Canada, with Reps. Geporge Nethercutt and Sander Levin, Jacqueline Bednarz of the Homeland Security Department, and Counselor William Sheppit of the Canadian Embassy. Location: Room 121, Cannon. EDUCATION SECRETARY PAIGE _ 8:15 a.m. The Republican Main Street Partnership hosts U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige, who will speak on "The Education Agenda and No Child Left Behind," progress in the Education Reform Act, Special Education (IDEA), the new Education Technology Plan, and reauthorization of The Higher Education Act. Location: Capitol Hill Club, 3rd Floor, 300 First St. SE. GOP-SPANISH _ 8:30 a.m. Rep. Jerry Weller and Jerry Ice of the USDA Graduate School hold a news conference to announce the start of Spanish language classes on Capitol Hill for members of the House Republican Conference and their staffs. Location: Room H-326, Capitol. BULLETPROOF VESTS _ 9 a.m. Rep. Joseph Wilson holds a news conference on the campaign for bulletproof vests for law enforcement officers. Location: Cannon Terrace. HOUSE DEMOCRATS _ 9 a.m. Meeting of the House Democratic Caucus. Closed. Location: Room HC-5, Capitol. Notes: Stakeout in the Center Steps Hallway. HOUSE REPUBLICANS _ 9 a.m. Meeting of the House Republican Conference. Closed. Location: Room 1100, Longworth. Notes: Stakeout in the Longworth lobby. AMTRAK _ 9:30 a.m. The Economic Policy Institute holds a roundtable discussion on the future of Amtrak and releases a study on its future, with Elliott Sclar of Columbia University and Vukan Vuchic of the University of Pennsylvania. Location: National Press Club. PEW OCEANS COMMISSION REPORT _ 9:30 a.m. The Pew Oceans Commission holds a press conference to unveil a report on "America's Living Oceans: Charting a Course for Sea Change." Speakers include Commissioners Leon Panetta, Chair; Eileen Claussen, Strategies for the Global Environment; Mike Hayden, past president, American Sportfishing Association; Geoffrey Heal, Columbia University; Tony Knowles, former governor of Alaska; Julie Packard, Monterey Bay Aquarium; David Rockefeller, National Park Fund; Roger Rufe, Ocean Conservancy; and others. Location: National Press Club, First Amendment Lounge. CONGRESS-POST ATTACK _ 10 a.m. The American Enterprise Institute-Brookings Continuity of Government Commission discuss its report on the continuity of Congress after a catastrophic terrorist attack, with Norman Ornstein, AEI; Thomas Mann, Brookings; Lloyd Cutler, former White House counsel; Alan Simpson, former U.S. Senator; Kenneth Duberstein, former White House chief of staff; Lynn Martin, former Labor Secretary; Donna Shalala, former HHS Secretary. Location: AEI, Wohlstetter Conference Center, 12th Floor, 1150 17th St. NW. FAMILY TIME _ 10 a.m. Reps. Judy Biggert, John Boehner and Deborah Pryce hold a news conference on Family Time Flexibility Act. Location: Cannon Terrace. H.R. 1119 SUPPORTERS _ 10 a.m. A group of legislators will be joined by a working mother and other supporters to hold a press conference on the Family Time Flexibility Act (H.R. 1119). Location: Cannon Terrace. CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES-IRAQ _ 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life hosts a discussion of Christian missionaries in Iraq, "Ministering to Those in Need: The Rights and Wrongs of Missions and Humanitarian Assistance in Iraq," with Michael Lawrence, associate pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church; Kate Moynihan, Catholic Relief Services; Abdulaziz Sachedina, University of Virginia; Bruce Wilkinson, World Vision; and moderator Melissa Rogers, executive director, Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Location: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Root Room, 1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW. SELECTIVE LAW ENFORCEMENT _ 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. The American Civil Liberties Union and a coalition of organizations host a forum to examine the growing trend of law enforcement to selectively target certain immigrant communities under the guise of national security. Participating are Anthony Romero, executive director, ACLU; Jeanne Butterfield, president, American Immigration Lawyers Assn.; and Pramila Jayapal, executive director, Hate Free Zone Campaign of Washington. Individuals from affected communities also join the panel and share their stories with members of Congress, including Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Patty Murray, D-Wash. Location: Room 902, Hart Senate Office Building. BANKS-ENVIRONMENT _ 10:30 a.m. International banks hold a news conference to announce an initiative for environmental and social standards in global project finance lending. Location: Room L-109, International Finance Corporation, 2121 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. CUBA DISSIDENTS _ 10:30 a.m. The Heritage Foundation holds a screening of a documentary film from Director Heidi Ewing and the National Democratic Institute. Location: Lehrman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE. DASCHLE DUGOUT _ 10:30 a.m. Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., Democratic Leader, holds a dugout. Location: Room S-224, Capitol. DEMOCRATS-COMP TIME _ 10:45 a.m. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, other House Democrats, and workers who would be affected by H.R. 1119, which is backed by Republicans, hold a news conference. Participants are trying block what they say amounts to a GOP pay cut for working families. The measure is scheduled for House consideration on Thursday. Location: Room H-203, Capitol. CHINESE DISSIDENT _ 11 a.m. House members announce the decision of the UN Working Group of Arbitrary Detention concerning the detention of Dr. Yang Jianli, a Chinese dissident from Boston, who has been held by China for 13 months. Location: Room 2200, Rayburn. FAMILY PLANNING _ 11 a.m. Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Joseph Crowley, others, hold a news conference with the 34 Million Friends of UNFPA to announce the 218 Votes campaign to pass international family planning legislation. Location: Cannon Terrace. BASE CLOSINGS _ 11:30 a.m. Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Trent Lott, R-Miss., hold a press conference to outline an amendment they will offer that would cancel a new round of military base closings planned for 2005. Location: Senate Radio-TV Gallery. INVESTOR TRUST _ 11:30 a.m. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sponsors a discussion with Schwab CEO David Pottruck on "Siding with Main Street: Building Investor Trust Through Greater Business Transparency." Location: 1615 H St. NW. ASHCROFT-TERRORISM _ 11:35 a.m. Attorney General John Ashcroft holds a roundtable discussion on terrorism issues. The attorney general will open the roundtable with an overview of successes in the war on terrorism. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher of the Criminal Division will oversee presentations by 10 U.S. Attorneys' offices from throughout the country to discuss various terrorism-related cases and issues. Location: Main Justice, 951 Constitution Ave. NW, 7th floor conference room. WMD-KUCINICH _ 12 p.m. Rep. Dennis Kucinich holds a news conference on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Location: Cannon Terrace. GAS TAX ALTERNATIVES _ 12 p.m. The Heritage Foundation sponsors a program on innovative alternatives to the gas tax, with Rep. Mark Kennedy, D.J. Gribbin of Koch Industries, Sen. Wayne Allard, others. Location: 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE. KOREAN WAR _ 12 p.m. Representatives of the Korean War Abductees' Family Union, Families of Abducted and Detained in North Korea, and the Citizens Coalition for Human Rights of Abductees and North Korean Refugees hold a newsmaker news conference to discuss their efforts on behalf of what they say are the 82,000 South Koreans who disappeared during the Korean War and 486 abducted by North Korea since the war. Location: National Press Club, Zenger Room. LABOR UNIONS DECLINE _ 12 p.m. The Institute for International Economics hosts a luncheon meeting to release a new study by Robert Baldwin of the University of Wisconsin on the impact of global competitive forces on unionized jobs in the US, "The Decline of US Labor Unions and the Role of Trade." Location: Institute for International Economics, 1750 Massachusetts Ave. NW. MIDDLE EAST _ 12 p.m. The Middle East Institute hosts an address by Judith Kipper, Council on Foreign Relations and Center for Strategic and International Relations, who will discuss "What's at Stake in the Middle East? United States Foreign & Defense Policy." Location: Middle East Institute, Boardman Room, 1761 N St. NW. U.S.-KOREA _ 12 p.m. The Cato Institute holds a Policy Forum on "The United States and Korea: Endless Entanglement or Crossroads for Change?" with Doug Bandow, Cato; Ed Olsen, Naval Postgraduate School professor; Bill Taylor, president, Taylor Associates International; and Ted Galen Carpenter, Cato. Location: Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Ave. NW. ISLAMIC EXTREMISM _ 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. The W.P. Carey Forum, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, SAIS, hosts a program on "Is the United States Government Supporting Islamic Extremism? Iraq, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan," with Hillel Fradkin, president, Ethics and Public Policy Center; S. Frederick Starr, chairman, Central Asia- Caucasus Institute; others. Location: Rome Room 806, 1619 Massachusetts Ave. NW. BLACK COLLEGES _ 12:30 p.m. Media availability with Sen. Rick Santorum, House Speaker Rep. Dennis Hastert, former Rep. J.C. Watts and the president of the Historical Black Colleges and Universities, during the group's 4th annual congressional forum. Location: Jefferson Building, 10 1st St. SE. HASTERT-BLACK COLLEGES _ 12:30 p.m. Speaker Dennis Hastert and other members of the congressional Republican leadership meet with more than 70 presidents of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Location: Library of Congress, Jefferson Building, 10 First Street SE. PREVIEW-AIDS DOCUMENTARY _ 12:30 p.m. Sens. Edward Kennedy and Orrin Hatch host an event promoting bipartisan action against AIDS and to preview a new documentary series on the subject, "PANDEMIC: FACING AIDS," a series of five half-hour films by Rory Kennedy and narrated by Elton John that follows people living with AIDS in countries around the world. The series airs on HBO in June. Following the film, there will be a discussion on the global AIDS crisis with Rory Kennedy, Sandra Thurman, CEO, International AIDS Trust; and others. Location: Room 325, Senate Caucus Room, Russell Senate Office Building. CORRESPONDENTS DINNER _ 6:30 p.m. Annual Radio-Television Correspondents Dinner. Location: Washington Hilton & Towers, 1919 Connecticut Ave. NW/ JOURNALISTS-LIES _ 6:30 p.m. The Newseum and the National Press Club sponsor a panel discussion, "When Journalists Lie: Earning Back the Community's Trust," with Geneva Overholser, professor, Missouri School of Journalism; Jeffrey Dvorkin, ombudsman, National Public Radio; Mike Getler, ombudsman, The Washington Post; Walter Middlebrook, recruiter, Newsday; William McGowan, journalist and author of "Coloring the News: How Political Correctness Has Corrupted American Journalism;" Alice Bonner, professor of journalism, University of Maryland. Location: National Press Club. ARMY-EMBEDDED MEDIA _ 7 p.m. The U.S. Army honors the more than 300 embedded civilian news media who accompanied Army units into Iraq in March, including those who gave their lives, during a Twilight Tattoo military parade, which is an hour-long sunset military pageant featuring members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard), the U.S. Army Band, "Pershing's Own," Fife and Drum Corps, and U.S. Army Drill Team. Location: White House Ellipse. SALUTE TO PRESERVATION _ 7 p.m. The National Trust for Historic Preservation and Home & Garden Television kick off "Restore America: A Salute to Preservation," a partnership spotlighting restoration and preservation of 12 historical sites throughout the country. The event is part of the celebration recognizing people and organizations who have made significant contributions to historic preservation with the first-ever Restore America Hero Awards. Honorees include Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Rep. Ralph Regula, Polo Ralph Lauren, Clarice and Robert Smith, and Joan Maynard. Laura Bush is honorary chair of the gala and will be joined by co-chairs Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Location: National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW.

04/16/2001
Plurimus Redefines Privacy on the Internet
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Plurimus Redefines Privacy on the Internet

Plurimus Corporation(TM), which provides the broadest and most detailed online market intelligence available, reaffirmed its commitment to protecting end-user privacy by introducing its privacy-enhancing data-collection methodology recently in Washington, D.C.

04/05/2001
The Government and Online Privacy
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Press Release

The Government and Online Privacy

Copley News Service, 09/27/2000 Would you rather trust Charles Schwab, Wal-Mart or L.L. Bean with your private financial information, or the government?

09/27/2000

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