INFORMATION

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Tagging RFID's Privacy Problems

- A new bill introduced by California State Senator Debra Bowen (D-Redondo Beach) would restrict the use of information collected by radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. The measure, SB 1834, which passed the Senate at the end of April and was scheduled to be considered by the full Assembly by July, sets out four conditions that would have to be met before RFID tags and readers could be used to collect personal information. The full text of SB 1834 and the letter opposing it are at SM Online.

Computer security

- A bill (H.R. 3754) has been approved by the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property. H.R. 3754 has been forwarded to the House Judiciary Committee. The bill would make it illegal to knowingly provide material and misleading false contact information in making, maintaining, or renewing registration of an Internet site domain name The bill would also add seven years to the felony conviction sentence for such a crime.

Identity theft.

- A bill (S. 153) that would establish the crime of aggravated identity theft has been approved by the Senate and has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.

Terrorism hoaxes

- A bill (H.R. 1678) introduced by Sen. Lamar Smith (R-TX) that would make it a federal crime to fool people into believing that an act of terrorism had taken place has been approved by the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. The bill would also require anyone convicted under the measure to reimburse law enforcement for any costs of investigating the hoax.

Cargo security

- In a recent report on cargo security, the General Accounting Office (GAO) noted that while U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has taken steps to increase the security of cargo containers, it has failed to address the potential tampering of such containers. It has also failed to analyze various forms of cargo to assess specific risk factors.

Legal Reporter

- Discriminatory firing and trade secrets are addressed by the courts. Bioterrorism, maritime security, and aviation security go under the regulatory knife. And Congress considers rail security, campus safety, and counterfeiting.

Privacy

- A federal appeals court has ordered that the sentencing of Brandon Lifshitz, who was convicted of transmitting child pornography, be evaluated for potential abuses of privacy. Under the sentencing, Lifshitz's computer must be equipped with computer monitoring and filtering software to ensure that Lifshitz does not access child pornography on his home computer during his probation. The court ordered the review to evaluate the sentence's possible violation of the Fourth Amendment. (U.S. v. Lifshitz, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, No. 03-1221, 2004)

Negligent supervision.

- A Colorado appeals court has ruled that a business owner, Donald Keller, can be held liable for the negligent supervision of an employee, Firat Uzan, who sexually assaulted a family friend on the premises. Uzan, who had been asked to work alone at the store on weekends, brought the 12-year-old girl to the store and molested her. The court found that Keller should have known that Uzan was dangerous after three former employees, all of them teenaged girls, informed Keller that Uzan had sexually harassed or assaulted them on the premises. (Koca v. Keller, Colorado Court of Appeals, No. 02CA2498, 2004)

Preemployment screening

- A bill (H.B. 1350) pending in the Pennsylvania General Assembly would require that innkeepers conduct criminal record checks on applicants who would have access to room keys.

Identity theft

- A new bill (S.B. 1279) proposed in the California Legislature would increase corporate responsibility in cases where the personal information of customers was compromised. The bill expands on a law passed last year that requires companies to notify customers when their computerized information is accessed by an unauthorized party. The new bill would extend consumer protections to other data types such as stored voice mail messages. Pennsylvania

Counterfeiting

- Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) has introduced a bill (S. 2227) that would make it illegal to traffic in "illicit authentication features." Authentication features help companies determine that an item is not counterfeit; illicit authentication features would be intended to facilitate illegal copying of movies, music, or computer programs. Such a feature would also be a genuine authentication feature that has been distributed without authorization from the copyright owner. A copyright owner could file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator.

Port security

- In considering 2005 funding for the Department of Homeland Security, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced an amendment to substantially increase port security grants from the $6 million requested by the government to $500 million. These funds would go to federally mandated security tasks.

Campus security

- A bill (H.R. 4340) introduced by Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY) would require that colleges and universities implement plans for investigating violent felonies or missing students. The provision would require that institutions develop and implement a plan within one year that would provide for the coordination of efforts with law enforcement
 




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