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Sarah Lai Stirland

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Report critical of administration’s info-sharing efforts

July 13, 2006 An influential non-profit foundation on Thursday issued a report criticizing the Bush administration's failure to effectively encourage its various departments and state and local law enforcement authorities to share anti-terrorism information. The report praised President Bush and Congress for understanding the need to better share critical information to prevent terrorism,...

Senate panel sets deadline for NSA database deal

July 6, 2006 The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is pushing the National Security Agency to further open its databases of raw signals intelligence to a wider audience within the intelligence community. But the effort comes at a time when Congress, courts and the privacy community are closely scrutinizing the legality of the...

VA data theft could provide push for info protection bill

May 26, 2006 A Senate Democrat on Thursday made a plea to his chamber's leadership to schedule floor debate on a data protection bill that could help veterans better protect their stolen personal information. Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas said Thursday he hopes "Senators [Bill] Frist and [Harry] Reid will take some time...

Wiretapping battle continues in Congress, courts

May 22, 2006 The fight over the legality of the warrantless surveillance activities by the Bush administration is continuing to boil in both Congress and the courts this week. The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday is scheduled to debate and approve a compromise version of legislation that is designed to establish an oversight...

State department reverses itself on use of Chinese computers

May 18, 2006 The chairman of a House Appropriations subcommittee on Thursday highlighted the recent retreat by the State Department from a decision to use Chinese-made computers as part of its global classified network. "I was deeply troubled to learn that the new computers were purchased from a China-based company and that at...

Critics of IRS tax-return proposal urge changes

April 4, 2006 One of the nation's largest purveyors of tax-preparation software on Tuesday urged the Internal Revenue Service to enact rules that would ban the sale or rental of tax-return information. "The rule must clearly prohibit the sale or rental of tax-return information by a tax preparer to third parties," Intuit Chief...

Travel group seeks details on airline screening

March 28, 2006 A corporate travel industry association plans to push the Transportation Security Administration for details about its airline passenger-identification requirements after learning that the agency lets passengers through screening systems without presenting government-issued identification. "What we're looking to do is to determine what the rules are for traveling without ID, what...

Informal survey shows lax ID checks for air travelers

March 23, 2006 An informal survey of more than 80 domestic airline travelers found that Transportation Security Administration officials often do not enforce the agency's own rule that travelers must present government-issued identification at airports. The TSA rule mandates that airline travelers present at least one form of such ID at security checkpoints....

Homeland Security chief proposes screening of customer data

March 7, 2006 The secretary of the Homeland Security Department on Tuesday proposed a screening system that would require companies to retain information about their customers but only require them to surrender information filtered by software. "One of the proposals that was floated and shot down before I got here was screening for...

Federal judge hints at BlackBerry ban, urges deal

February 24, 2006 RICHMOND, Va. -- A federal judge on Friday strongly hinted that he is prepared to issue a ban on BlackBerry wireless e-mail devices and pushed for a settlement between the two companies feuding over the device's patent rights. "After all of the petitions, politics and lobbying, the essential truth" has...