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Ashcroft defends department's use of expanded antiterror powers

June 5, 2003 Attorney General John Ashcroft Thursday defended the Justice Department's use of the expanded powers granted under the USA PATRIOT Act, called for three additional changes to the law, and pledged greater collaboration with Congress. Under fire by civil libertarians and privacy advocates for a series of executive branch decisions in...

Computer security officials discount chances of 'digital Pearl Harbor'

June 3, 2003 The notion that the cyberterrorism against the United States could create a "digital Pearl Harbor" is fading faster than the stock prices of dot-com startups did at the start of the decade, three computer-security experts agreed on Tuesday. "The first time I saw the phrase 'digital Pearl Harbor' was 1995,"...

Homeland privacy chief confronts doubts on passenger-screening system

May 30, 2003 Nuala O'Connor Kelly had propelled herself into the privacy debate by joining DoubleClick in 2000 after the company came under intense criticism for its plan to gather individually identifiable consumer information for ad-targeting. She led the legal team that settled the lawsuits, modified the company's privacy practices, and saw the...

Defense, Justice report on surveillance activities

May 28, 2003 In the 20 months since the September 2001 terrorist attacks, civil libertarians have had two overarching complaints about the federal government's surveillance regime: the breadth of its powers and the secrecy of its capabilities. Now the latter criticism may be changing. Under sustained pressure from privacy advocates within Congress, the...

Homeland official outlines budget plan for border protection

May 6, 2003 The Homeland Security Department's Bureau of Customs and Border Protection requires a 33 percent budget increase to support a host of new programs designed to avert potential terrorist threats, a top department official said on Tuesday. Testifying before the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Asa Hutchinson, head of the department's...

FBI director says tech investments are paying off

April 10, 2003 FBI Director Robert Mueller on Thursday highlighted the bureau's success in thwarting terrorist attacks, counterintelligence operations and confronting cyber crime in his budget presentation to the Senate Commerce, Justice and State Appropriations Subcommittee. Mueller, who said that he personally was "focusing on long-term strategies to enhance our ability to collect,...

Anti-terror agencies win anti-privacy awards

April 4, 2003 NEW YORK-Anti-terrorism surveillance proposals from the Defense, Justice and Homeland Security departments earned the scorn of the activist group Privacy International here on Thursday as the group issued its annual "Big Brother" awards. The awards are presented at the annual Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference to the "government agencies, companies...

Study: E-government projects must advance cautiously

March 25, 2003 Because the federal government provides online services and issues identity documents, it must proceed with caution in providing e-government services that respect citizens' privacy, said a report issued Tuesday afternoon by the National Academies of Science. Because federal agencies like the General Services Administration issue digital certificates as well as...

Data mining sparks debate among lawmakers, administration

March 25, 2003 Lawmakers and administrators sparred over the use and treatment of government data mining at a hearing held by a House Government Reform subcommittee. Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., defended the use of data mining at a Tuesday hearing even as the White House Office of Management and Budget's...

Defense, NSA move on 'open source' software development

March 17, 2003 The National Security Agency and Defense Department are continuing to promote government use of software like Linux whose source code is freely available to the public, representatives of the departments said at a Monday conference on such "open source" software. Peter Loscocco, a senior research scientist at NSA, said that...

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