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Senate panel approves intelligence authorization measure

May 24, 2007 The Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday approved its fiscal 2008 authorization bill, which would grant more flexibility and authority to the national intelligence director while requiring greater accountability from the intelligence community. Congress has failed to reauthorize funding for the nation's intelligence agencies for two years, but committee Chairman John...

Biggest threat to Internet could be a massive virtual blackout

April 5, 2007 The most serious threat to the Internet infrastructure in the 21st century is a massive virtual blackout known as a "distributed denial of service attack," an outspoken board member for the group that administers Internet addresses said Thursday at a Hudson Institute briefing. This type of high-tech ambush, which occurs...

Project to streamline patent reviews nearing launch

March 26, 2007 An Internet-based peer-review project aimed at streamlining the U.S. patent system will begin testing next week. The initiative, which is touted as a social-networking first for the federal government, is scheduled to debut publicly in June, its director said Monday. The pilot, led by the Institute for Information Law and...

Senators seek federal transparency, 'reporter's shield'

March 14, 2007 Senate Judiciary Committee leaders at a Wednesday hearing cited a handful of recent political controversies that benefited from federal open-government laws but said improvements to the statutes could have made a bigger difference. Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said the scandal unfolding over the Justice Department's firing of federal prosecutors, as...

Study on privacy protections finds citizens distrust security agencies

February 20, 2007 The CIA, Homeland Security Department and National Security Agency are the least trusted federal agencies when it comes to protecting Americans' privacy, according to a new study by the Ponemon Institute. The annual survey, which will be released Wednesday, asked more than 7,000 citizens whether they believe the government takes...

Advocates urge improvements to FOIA process

February 14, 2007 Civil libertarians and national security experts told lawmakers Wednesday that the longstanding law that lets citizens request full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased government documents is essential for government accountability. Caroline Fredrickson, the American Civil Liberties Union's top lobbyist, said in prepared congressional testimony that the Freedom of Information...

More money, end of fee diversion sought for patent agency

February 5, 2007 The Patent and Trademark Office would receive $1.9 billion in fiscal 2008 under the budget plan President Bush released Monday. This also is the fourth year in a row the White House has recommended the Congress allow the agency keep fees collected from patent and trademark applications instead of diverting...

Attorney general grilled over domestic spying changes

January 18, 2007 The Bush administration's top lawyer took heat from the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday about the federal government's domestic electronic eavesdropping program and the Pentagon's use of an anti-terrorism law to collect financial records of U.S. citizens. The Justice Department announced Wednesday that it would change how the National Security...

Privacy advocates decry accessing of bank records under security law

January 16, 2007 Civil libertarians want Congress to investigate the Pentagon's use of an anti-terrorism law to collect financial records of American citizens and those suspected of terrorism or espionage in the United States. The New York Times reported Sunday that the Defense Department and CIA have been utilizing a special subpoena power...

Key senator says Democrats will not be soft on terrorism

December 19, 2006 The Vermont Democrat who is poised to regain control of the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected charges that his party is soft on terrorism during an interview that aired on C-Span. Patrick Leahy, who chaired the committee from 2001-2003, will replace Pennsylvania Republican Arlen Specter next month. Leahy has outlined an...

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